The follow-up to ‘Style Book: Fashionable Inspirations’, ‘Patterns and Prints’ follows on in the same vein – each spread pits two full-page images against each other with the focus on, yup, patterns and prints. It’s a simple as that. Elizabeth Walker’s frame of reference and scope is huge – you might see a picture of Mexican teenagers celebrating the Day of the Dead in traditional striped dresses next to a shot of Anna Piaggi in a vintage coat with the exact same pattern, or a model wearing a Moschino slogan knit next to Bob Hope wearing a not dissimilar varsity sweatshirt. Equal parts inspiration and eye candy.
Viviane Sassen is a true renegade when it comes to fashion photography. She’s obsessed with duality, with the morphing nature of the human body and with making her images more than a little bit off kilter. Her work can be both erotic and disturbing, beautiful and yet not quite right. It’s the most comprehensive look at a woman who, as her shoots for the likes of POP and Carven show, is adding something new to art and photography instead of looking backwards through a nostalgic filter
If you’re expecting a full-on investigation into the complicated psyche of the man behind the sunglasses, you’re in the wrong place. Instead, ‘The World According to Karl’ is a collection of all of the man’s best, most quotable utterances. Split into categories (Karl Lagerfeld has made a LOT of witty comments) such as ‘Karl on Life’, ‘Karl on Chanel’ and ‘Elizabeth (his mother) on Karl’, there’s a Krazy Karl Kwote for almost every occasion. I, personally, will never want for a unique birthday card greeting ever again.
If you want to know where your shoes came from, or when women started to wear trousers (Note – much earlier than you’d think), ‘Fashion: The Whole Story’ is the book for you. While it’s incredibly ambitious in its aim to cover pretty much every aspect of fashion, it’s also accessible and very-almost indispensable. Fogg’s book is awash with timeline, photographs, covetable fashion artefacts and regular tidbits. It’s a book to dip in and out of at leisure, with something new to learn on every page.
Since the popularisation of photography, work for fashion illustrators has taken a marked downturn, with the exception of a brief, incredibly fecund period in the 70s and 80s. Tony Viramontes, along with a cadre of other fashion illustrators (the most famous being Antonio Lopez, who currently has a MAC collection named in his honour) lived fast, partied hard and produced some truly beautiful work. Viramontes’ hard, striking and uncompromisingly sexy illustrations struck a chord with the fashion industry – this lovingly rendered book is a testament to his legacy.