Fashion History & Designers 101. Books for beginners.

Fashion History & Designers 101. Books for beginners.

Hello Friday Scoopers! Today we are going through some options you have if you want to expand your knowledge on fashion history. We are first going to cover few books I enjoyed reading and that can help you know what you like more based on facts. The books go from general knowledge to very detailed and fashion house specific. Tag along with me and let’s find your best options!


1. Haute History by Cesira Veret

The book has 3 versions, covering the Italy, France and Great Britain designers. It was also the first one I’ve read and with it, the beginning of a new passion on fashion history. I loved to read about how things evolved and how the great fashion houses we know today started. With people like you and me, that took a path in life and created greatness!!!

If you are a beginner, this is a great book to get you started and to know more about the brands you like and where they started. Choose fashion houses that you admire and support them.

As far as I know these books come only in Kindle version and the author doesn’t have a hard cover version for them yet. Comment below if you manage to find them in hardcover version :)!

2. Elegance: The Beauty of French Fashion & Iconic: The Masters of Italian Fashion by Megan Hess

Let me start by saying how breath-taking these books are. Besides the giving a good brief about the fashion houses mentioned, Megan Hess is rocking with her illustrations, making her books vibrant and overall a joy to look at. The books are available in kindle or hard cover format, and I would honestly recommend the ladder. It makes for an amazing addition to your coffee table and keeps you wanting to know more about the designers she is writing about.

Out of all the books mentioned here, I would say that these I actually repurchased just to have a hard cover copy. I love to simply flip through the illustrations and I am so happy I came across Megan’s work.

3. The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by André Leon Talley

This book was a bit of a different experience compared to the ones mentioned above, as it is a memoir. André Leon Talley was the creative director at Vogue during the magazine’s rising dominance as the world’s fashion bible. His take on fashion is so unique as he was in the core of it for so many years. This book is filled with inside stories about him working with icons like Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano. He was close to Oscar de la Renta and of course the right hand of Anna Wintour of Vogue. More than that, he was close to the muses of the greatest designers, things that we never would have known if not for reading his book.

It is also written in such a way that I, as a reader, I feel attached to the people in the book and how they evolve. He doesn’t story-tell fashion history, he was part of it! I feel for the writer as well, as it was not easy to be a person of color back then and made it so far. By the end you get to appreciate the writer with all his accomplishments and be proud of what he has done. Totally recommend this book to anyone that loves fashion and wants to have more than the outside pictures the media often portrays.

4. Fifty Fashion Designers That Changed the World by The Design Museum and  Lauren Cochrane

This book is again something more general, but speaks of different designers compared to the Haute History or Megan Hess’ books. It has a general and somewhat brief glance at the lives of many designers that we should actually know more of. It is also a good option to see that are more creative minds out there, that are not so popular like the big fashion houses.

Overall, this book is good for further broaden your perspective on fashion history and the designers out there, on their achievements, and for that I would recommend this book.

PS: They also have a book on the Fifty Dresses that Changed the World, if you are interested in that.

5. Vogue On …

There are many editions of this Vogue edition that can peak your interest. The way I found it, was after I read the general information books above and I wanted to go more in detail on certain fashion houses. I purchased for example ‘Vogue on Dolce and Gabbana’ and I really enjoyed the book. It has a good amount of information as well as pictures from their collections (ofc.. it’s Vogue after all). There are different books, covering fashion houses like Coco Chanel, John Paul Gaultier, Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace and so much more. There are a lot of interesting books you can try to get deeper into the fashion history world.

PS: Vogue also does editions on accessories, such as Vogue Essentials: Heels or Vogue Essentials: Handbags. Also worth giving a try!

6. Gods and Kings by Dana Thomas

This book is covering the similarities and brilliance between John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. It’s a very well put together piece and it takes you in the minds of the two amazing designers. I didn’t realize how many similarities were between these brilliant people until I read this book. They brought changes to the fashion world, dared to dream big and overall made history.

If you are into either or both designers, this is a good option for you!

That’s it for now Friday Scoopers! Thank you for hanging out with me again and would love to hear your thoughts down in the comment section.

Have you read any of these books? If not, are you planning to?

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