In celebration of London Fashion Week, we have put together a collection of our most exciting fashion books by inspirational figures in the field. Our authors range from fashion historians to international gallery curators, including Valerie Steele, Andrew Bolton, Aileen Ribeiro and Patricia Mears.
This week especially, fashion must be recognised in its many forms. It is not only a form of art but also an expression of culture and identity, a tool in social resistance, and a piece in a social history. For instance, look at the important role gay and lesbian individuals have played in the fashion industry and indeed, the role the fashion industry has played in LGBT culture. We can say women have utilised fashion in their quest for equal rights, or, that fashion is oppressive to women – some would argue that both are equally true. In an interview with Bazaar Magazine, Valerie Steele talks about how studying fashion has only recently been recognised as something other than a ‘frivolous’ subject and yet it is so important in our daily lives.
The books featured here tackle key subjects in this illustrious industry, and range widely, from 21st century couture to vintage lingerie. Our biographical surveys are just as much fashion history as they are about the individual. Charles James: Beyond Fashion looks at America’s first couturier in the 1940s and 1950s while Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty considers the man behind some of the most influential fashion of recent times. Our books on fashion accessories are fascinating records of functional and decorative objects that might otherwise be lost to time. Shoe Obsession documents 150 pairs of the most extreme and fashionable shoes of the last decade, with beautiful photographs of each, while books such as Ivy Style: Radical Conformists and Artist Rebel Dandy: Men of Fashion analyse specific style movements and their accoutrements, tracing their history. All these books are truly a celebration of London Fashion Week and the designers, fashion icons and scholars, who have created what we understand as fashion today.