Penning the pages of fashion: New books for style connoisseurs – Pittsburgh Post Gazette


Even if you can’t rub elbows with fashion’s leading ladies and gentlemen, you still can share in their stories.


Several of the brands and businesses on the front lines of fashion have put pen to paper to tell tales of life on and off the catwalk through heartfelt memoirs and vivid pictorial accounts of style.


Here are some of their latest books sure to intrigue any fashion enthusiast — and dress up any table or shelf.




“The Woman I Wanted to Be” by Diane von Furstenberg (Simon & Schuster, $26)


From the daughter of a Holocaust survivor to a princess through marriage and now an icon in fashion and philanthropy, designer Diane von Furstenberg’s life reads like a fairy tale. She details it all with sincerity and humility in this memoir. Mixed in are musings on love (“love is life is love is life …”), beauty (“health is beauty, beauty is health”) and the women who’ve inspired her along the way. Other personal touches include candid photos of Ms. von Furstenberg over the years with family and friends.


To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the designer’s famed wrap dress, “Journey of a Dress” (Rizzoli, $75) chronicles the rise of this wardrobe staple and how it propelled Ms. von Furstenberg to prominence on the national and global fashion scene.


“Places to go, People to see” by Kate Spade New York (Abrams, $40)


A follow-up to the brand’s book “Things We Love,” this contribution to coffee table eye candy is a 240-page collection of colorful photographs depicting people and places that inspire the fashion line’s designs. Adding to the whimsy are lots of vintage photographs and famous quotes inspired by travel and style. It all makes for the most fashionable road trip you’ll ever take without leaving the couch!


“Study of Pose: 1,000 Poses by Coco Rocha” with photography by Steven Sebring (Harper Design, $60)


She’s not dubbed “queen of posing” for nothing. Supermodel Coco Rocha demonstrates the many (many, many!) ways the body can twist, turn and contort with great artistry in this portfolio of black-and-white photographs that were shot in just three days. While today Ms. Rocha is celebrated for her creative poses, it was a point of criticism early on.


“Thankfully, there were some people at the beginning of my career that said, ‘No, that’s so cool, that’s so great. Continue doing that,’ ” she told The Associated Press.


A foreword by designer Jean Paul Gaultier completes the package.


“Refinery29: Style Stalking” by Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich (Potter Style, $20) 


Satisfy your sartorial eye with some of the leading looks from the world of street style as selected by editors of the fashion website refinery29.com. They use these snapshots to spotlight trendsetters of our day — and what it takes to be one.


“Tory Burch: In Color” (Abrams, $50)


See the world through designer Tory Burch’s eyes in images of the decor, destinations and individuals she admires. Color is key to her design aesthetic, and the book is organized according to the hues that are meaningful to her. Sprinkled in are interviews with influential figures and glimpses into Ms. Burch’s private life, including parts about her children and parents.


This is the designer’s first book, and it opens with a foreword by Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and artistic director of Conde Nast. The visual feast begins on the cover with a print, “Beautiful Primal Urges Rug” by artist Damien Hirst. 


“Vogue & The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People” by Hamish Bowles (Abrams, $50)


Revisit the museum’s spring exhibitions and galas of the 21st century through stunning photography and expertly crafted passages by Ms. Wintour (for which the The Costume Institute’s Costume Center is named) and Met director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell. In the past 15 years, exhibits have covered topics such as “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years” in 2001, a showcase of Chanel in 2005 and this year’s display, “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.”


History and fashion seamlessly go hand-in-hand throughout the coffee table-style book, which also features photos from Vogue shoots that were inspired by some of these exhibits. And what would a retrospective of the annual gala be without mentions of the crowds of A-list stars it attracts?


“Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table” (Assouline Publishing, $150)


When it comes to extravagant entertaining, few do it quite like designer Valentino Garavani. Now you don’t have to be on the guest list for his next black-tie affair to get a peek inside his home — all five of them (and one of his yachts). His luxurious world comes to life on the page through an introduction by Andre Leon Talley and photographs by Oberto Gili. There also are recipes by Mr. Garavani’s personal chefs so readers — literally — can get a taste of what it’s like to feast like a fashion king. It’s available starting Tuesday. 


Sara Bauknecht: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com or on Twitter @SaraB_PG.

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