x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Get an inside look at the methods, madness and muses of some of fashion's greats with this list of gorgeously illustrated coffee-table books.

Lori Goldstein: Style is Instinct by Lori Goldstein. Courtesy HarperCollins Publishers
Lori Goldstein: Style is Instinct by Lori Goldstein. Courtesy HarperCollins Publishers

Lori Goldstein: Style Is Instinct by Lori Goldstein US$54.79 (Dh200)

“Everything goes with anything” is the philosophy of visionary stylist Lori Goldstein, whose groundbreaking work included collaborations with photographers such as Annie Leibovitz at Vanity Fair and Steven Meisel at Vogue Italia, as well as a vast array of iconic advertising images. Originally inspired by the work of Diane Arbus, Goldstein’s vast historical and contemporary cultural knowledge is what truly set her apart. With a foreword by Steven Meisel, the book features more than 80 innovative images laid out in four distinctive chapters, The Sickness, The Divine, Harmonious Discord and Pop – all peppered with personal anecdotes that allow us to explore and experience Goldstein’s unparalleled imagination and ultimate creative power.

The Anatomy of Fashion: Why We Dress the Way We Do

by Colin McDowell

$65.46 (Dh240)

In the world of fashion, where inspiration is often inexplicable, we rarely discuss the message or the story behind the clothes, which leaves most of us somewhat perplexed. In The Anatomy of Fashion, Colin McDowell, one of the world’s leading fashion commentators and historians and a senior fashion writer for The Sunday Times, challenges the often-ignored symbolism behind our style choices. The book dissects the body from head to toe, dividing it into concise sections such as The Body Unclothed, Materials and Texture, Head to Waist, Hips to Feet and Looks and Themes in Dress. Although visually strong, with more than 500 photographs, illustrations, paintings and film stills, McDowell is asking us to look beyond the ‘razzle dazzle’ and challenge our preconceived perceptions of both taste and authority.

Alexander McQueen: Working Process

photographs by Nick Waplington; text by Susannah Frankel;

edited by Alexander McQueen, Nick Waplington

$60 (Dh220)

In 2008, Alexander McQueen commissioned the artist and photographer Nick Waplington to document every element of his fall 2009 collection, entitled The Horn of Plenty, right from inception through to the final show. At the time, McQueen was at the top of his game – his technical genius and admirable eccentricity were undeniable. Unfortunately, unbeknown to anyone, it would be his last autumn/winter show before his untimely death in February 2010. Waplington was given unprecedented access to the normally guarded McQueen, and to his team, which included the current creative director of the brand, Sarah Burton. The book, which includes more than 120 photographs, is published just as McQueen wanted it, allowing us access into the world of a man who was only ever truly comfortable hovering on the periphery of ordinary.

Empress of Fashion LP: The Life of Diana Vreeland

by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

$31.50 (Dh115)

In this first full-length biography of Diana Vreeland (who came of age in Paris during the Belle Époque before becoming the editor-in-chief of American Vogue from 1963 to 1971), Amanda Mackenzie Stuart tells the story of an inspired maverick and muse who influenced designers, models, photographers and artists to challenge preconceived boundaries. After she was fired from Vogue (due to her often outlandish and expensive photo shoots), she went on to become a consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1971. She was 70. Above all, Vreeland was a woman of fantasy. As she put it herself, “too much good taste can be boring”.

Philip Treacy

by Kevin Davies

$42.49 (Dh156)

Philip Treacy, arguably the world’s most influential milliner, and the first to be invited to hold his own show during Paris Couture Week, has granted his friend and photographer Kevin Davies personal access to his life, studio and design processes for the past 20 years. Notoriously private when it comes to his craftsmanship, Treacy’s unique handmade creations have included collaborations with Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino and Chanel, as well as made-to-order pieces for Britain’s Royal Family, Grace Jones, Madonna and the late Isabella Blow. For the very first time, we are presented with an intimate side of the iconic designer with never-seen-before images of Treacy on his own, with his muses and at final fittings.

ktrotter@thenational.ae