The most inspirational fashion books

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, growing up in Gloucestershire, England, I have been passionate about fashion and made and designed my own clothes. I originally wanted to be a fashion designer but feared my drawing wasn’t good enough so studied journalism at the London College of Fashion and went to work for Condé Nast Publications. I later became a newspaper journalist but my love of fashion never went away - I did a millinery course with designer Edwina Ibbotson and a bag designing course at my alma mater. Since then, I have written many articles on fashion and the Royals as well as a number of books.


I wrote...

Diana: A Life in Dresses

By Claudia Joseph,

Book cover of Diana: A Life in Dresses

What is my book about?

This chic and stylish book opens Diana’s wardrobe to the world. From the Regamus debutante’s dress Diana wore at a ball at Althorp, her family estate, to her infamous Christina Stambolian ‘Revenge’ dress, each iconic moment is captured in these pages.

Claudia Joseph chronicles Diana’s style evolution from the days she shopped with her mother for her wedding trousseau at Harrods, to her discovery of her wedding dress designers, the Emanuels, and her relationship with Vogue fashion director Anna Harvey, who introduced her to designers such as Catherine Walker, Jacques Azagury and Versace. She looks at the designers who shaped Diana’s image and tracks down her most symbolic dresses to museums around the world.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Parisian Chic Look Book: What Should I Wear Today?

Claudia Joseph Why did I love this book?

I have always wanted to dress like a Parisienne and there is no greater inspiration than Karl Lagerfeld’s in-house model.

He chose the French supermodel, designer, and perfumer as his muse because she bore an uncanny resemblance to Coco Chanel. This book inspired me to write my book and taught me that for the French, less is more. 

By Ines de la Fressange, Sophie Gachet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Parisian Chic Look Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brand-new book of fashion secrets by New York Times best-selling author, model, and Parisienne extraordinaire, Ines de la Fressange.
 
Ines de la Fressange’s personal style is chic yet relaxed in every situation. While a navy-and-white- striped nautical top with slim, cropped jeans and flats is a classic French look, it’s harder to pinpoint how Parisians unfailingly blend elegance and allure with such ease. In this sequel to her best seller Parisian Chic, the world’s favorite style icon demonstrates how to achieve her quintessentially Parisian look throughout the year.
 
Her style secrets start with the building blocks of wardrobe staples—an…


Book cover of Christian Dior

Claudia Joseph Why did I love this book?

I think Dior has been my favourite designer since I studied fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion and discovered his iconic 1947 New Look.

I remember going to the Golden Age of Couture exhibition at the V&A in 2007 and being mesmerised by his designs - I now have one of the installations hanging on my dressing room wall.

This book captures the highlights of the museum’s 2019 exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which celebrated the House of Dior from its foundation in 1947 to the present day.

I went home determined to - one day - own a piece of Dior.

By Oriole Cullen, Connie Karol Burks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Christian Dior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Capturing the highlights of the major Victoria and Albert
Museum exhibition, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, this stunning souvenir
celebrates the House of Dior from its foundation in 1947 to the present day.
Haute-couture gowns by Christian Dior and the illustrious creative directors
who followed him -Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John
Galliano, Bill Gaytten, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri-are showcased here,
each described by Oriole Cullen and atmospherically photographed by Laziz
Hamani.


Book cover of Chanel: Collections and Creations

Claudia Joseph Why did I love this book?

Being a Francophile, no book list would be complete without the House of Chanel, which is as renowned for its camellias as it is for its little black dresses and tweed suits.

Every page of this book, which has two achingly beautiful black and white camellias on the cover, is stunning and totally inspirational.

By Daniele Bott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chanel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chanel's combination of tradition, originality and style has always made it the most seductive of brands. Here the House of Chanel opens its private archives, revealing a galaxy of brilliant designs created by Coco Chanel from the 1920s onwards, and now reinterpreted to become the motifs for brand new garments, accessories and beauty products.

Inspired by the House's signature fragrance, the legendary 'Chanel No 5', the book explores five central themes - the suit, the camellia, jewelry, fragrances and make-up, and the little black dress - and follows the threads from past to present to show how these key items…


Book cover of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Claudia Joseph Why did I love this book?

After the death of Lee Alexander McQueen in 2010, I was fortunate to meet his sister Janet and do an interview with her for the Mail on Sunday.

I was later invited to the launch of the V&A’s exhibition Savage Beauty alongside Lee’s brothers and sisters. This book reminds me of Lee’s extraordinary talent and a very special evening.

By Andrew Bolton, Solve Sundsbo (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alexander McQueen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrating the astounding creativity and originality of designer Alexander McQueen, who relentlessly questioned and confronted the requisites of fashion

"An authoritative and moving insight into the legacy of the British designer."-Carola Long, Financial Times

"McQueen's brilliance is celebrated in this sumptuous tome."-Harper's Bazaar

"Excellent."-Huffington Post

Arguably the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designer's career, from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own…


Book cover of Vogue 100: A Century of Style

Claudia Joseph Why did I love this book?

As a former journalist on Tatler and Vogue magazines, I was desperate to go and see the 2016 exhibition Vogue 100 at the National Portrait Gallery.

Not only was it a trip down memory lane but it included two photographs of the Princess of Wales in the exhibition - I was the first person to write a biography of the then Kate Middleton. This book is a reminder of a stunning exhibition and fun day out.

By Robin Muir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vogue 100 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its founding in 1916, British Vogue has acted as a cultural barometer, placing fashion in the context of art, literature, and politics. The magazine has captured the zeitgeist of each decade-the austerity and optimism that followed two world wars, the swinging London scene of the sixties, the radical seventies, the image-conscious eighties-and continues to be on the cutting edge of design and photography.

Decade by decade, Vogue 100 presents the greatest moments in the magazine's history-the photography, illustrations, and essays that recorded the fashion and taste of the time. Complete with essays that detail the rich history of each…


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Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

By Edward Benzel,

Book cover of Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

Edward Benzel Author Of Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming from the perspective of a neurosurgeon, I have witnessed many successes and failures over more than four decades. I recognized decades ago that communication with patients at a level that involves emotions is a necessary part of being a complete physician. This involves being empathetic and, henceforth, digging deep to find the strength to be transparent, vulnerable, compassionate, understanding, and, when needed, forceful (some would call this paternalism). Although the five books I have chosen to highlight vary widely in content, they have one common theme – finding within us the will and wherewithal to succeed.

Edward's book list on awakening of the strengths that are hidden deep inside each of us

What is my book about?

My book is a collection of monthly Editor-in-Chief letters to the readership of World Neurosurgery, a journal that I edit. Each essay is short and sweet. The letters were written for neurosurgeons but have been re-edited so that they apply to all human beings. They cover topics such as leadership, empathy, vulnerability, stress, burnout, and on and on…. These essays are relevant for all who strive to craft a better version of themselves.

Life lessons learned by the author during his 40+ year neurosurgery career are shared and translated into real-life scenarios. Between the covers are many lessons that are derived from the experiences of the author and then applied to all humans. The mastering of these lessons should translate into a sense of pride and satisfaction. In keeping with the theme of the book, this process should culminate in the feeling at the end of the day that ‘Today was, indeed, a good day.’

Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

By Edward Benzel,

What is this book about?

About the Book
Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon features many topics that pertain to how neurosurgeons interact with others and how each of us can use introspection to modify how we are using tools and strategies such as empathy, respect, stress management, and much more.
This book provides some insights into leadership, effective communication, and fulfillment from the perspective of a neurosurgeon, and it causes the reader to think about and consider many, many attributes of a leader.
We all want to have a good day. This book provides strategies…


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