As the world as we know it temporarily grinds to a halt, and we find ourselves coming to terms with a different, slower pace of life, there really has never been a better time to pick up that one book you’ve been so longing to read, and lose yourself in an all together different world. If you’re missing the fashion world IRL, why not check out our pick of 5 fashion biographies to enjoy.
Written in real time over the course of nine months during British VOGUE’s Centenary year, Alexandra Schulman lays bear her personal diaries for all to read, revealing the emotional and logistical minefield that was producing the magazines 100th anniversary issue (starring the Duchess of Cambridge), organising the Vogue 100 Gala and working with designers from Victoria Beckham to Karl Lagerfeld and contributors from David Bailey to Alexa Chung.
Refreshingly honest, witty and wry, the book is an unfiltered, true life account of what it means to be a person of power within the British fashion industry, as Schulman makes personal, and at times heartbreaking, sacrifices to ensure the much loved, and respected British fashion bible is celebrated and revered in the style of which it deserves.
A lesson in how to be a boss (and a reminder that there is no substitute for, or achievement without, hard work), Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue’s 100th Year offers real insight for those eternally intrigued by the inner workings of fashion.
Originally published in 1966, the autobiography of Mary Quant (inventor of the miniskirt) is a hugely entertaining and enthralling read, as the legendary designer herself tells the story of her life and career.
After opening the groundbreaking Bazaar Boutique on King’s Road, London in 1955, Mary Quant found herself at the heartbeat of pop culture in the 1960s, with her quirky and unique sense of style inspiring and empowering an entire generation of women the world over.
A champion of the underdog, an ambassador for the free-thinking, and the first person to ever truly and positively encourage young people to have fun with fashion, and to dress to please themselves and nobody else – Quant by Quant manages to encompass and encapsulate all of Mary’s vivacious spirit and liberating message perfectly.
Despite becoming one of the fashion world’s most iconic figures back in the early 1970s, by 2015 there was still such mystery and mystique surrounding womenswear designer Dianne von Fürstenberg, that the tenacious CEO decided to finally tell her life story, putting pen to paper to document her journey from jet-set princess, to industry advocate for change – ultimately becoming the woman she “always wanted to be”.
Sharing her views and philosophies on ageing, style and finding inner confidence, as well as regaling tales of her extraordinary transition from humble childhood beginnings in Brussels to creating a style of dress that would go on to symbolise independence and power for eternity – von Fürstenberg writes with remarkable honesty and wisdom.
Bold, brave and utterly compelling, Dianne von Fürstenberg’s story is one of inspiration and hope.
For decades known only to those on the inside, Grace Coddington’s star power, as well as exceptional talent and fierce dedication to her work as Creative Director of VOGUE, came to light following the release of the acclaimed 2009 documentary, The September Issue – a behind-the-scenes film directed by R.J. Cutler about the drama that follows editor-in-head Anna Wintour and her staff during the production of the September 2007 issue of American VOGUE.
Telling her story for the first time, with the witty and forthright voice that endeared her to fans of the film, Grace: A Memoir is an insightful and truthful look at the life of Grace Coddington – from her days as a model living in London, to becoming the muse behind Vidal Sassoon’s Five-Point Cut, her career as fashion editor at British VOGUE during the 70s and the romantic and imaginative stories behind her fantasy “travelogues” that would over time become her trademark.
Interspersed with Grace’s very own pen-and-ink illustrations, this dreamy memoir is a must read for fashion fans of all ages.
Offering an intimate and revealing look at the professional and personal life of the fashion world’s most visionary designer, author Judith Watt manages to strip back the layers of legend surrounding Alexander McQueen and reveals, for the first time, the true history, and sartorial genius, of the man who reinvented and reinvigorated the meaning of modern fashion forever.
Tracing his ascent from early childhood in East London, to teenage graduate at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, to his illustrious and distinguished status as one of the world’s leading fashion designers – this captivating and unique biography, illustrated throughout with McQueen’s personal drawings and sketches, offers a truly comprehensive, in-depth and honest look at one of the most talented and gifted designers of our times.