Creating a beautiful space that reflects your tastes and interests as a young adult can be nearly impossible given a limited budget, limited space and, well, a complete lack of decorating skill and experience. Luckily there’s an easy fix. Coffee table books have become rather trendy in the last few years thanks to Pinterest. But more than looking great in pictures, they are full of photographs that will bring art, conversation and personal touch into your space. Keep reading for a list of 15 favorite fashion coffee table books:
1. The Hermes Scarf: History & Mystique
These scarves have become so much more than a fashion accessory since their introduction in the 1930’s. They have become wearable works of art, each meticulously crafted to depict intricate and whimsical designs. With a price tag of nearly $400 for a new one, the Hermes Scarf is a symbol of luxury and fashion prestige. This book, filled with stunning photographs of the iconic prints, is a must have for any lover of fashion history, making it one of the perfect fashion coffee table books for you!
2. STYLE by Kate Spade
Within the pages of this little green book are little tidbits of advice and wise insights from one of the most fashionable woman in history. Kate Spade writes from her own perspective to share her process for developing style in a way that makes learning to be fashionable approachable and interesting. Full of beautiful illustrations, this may be the most fun lesson book in the world.
3. VALENTINO: Themes and Variations
Valentino has been a cultural icon for over 50 years. One of the most prestigious fashion houses, his designs are coveted by fashionistas, Hollywood celebrities and bloodline royalty alike. After turning past the beautiful cover, you will find pages of stunning photography of scraps and pieces from the collections. It has a personal chapter from Valentino himself and contains dissections of great masterpieces.
4. HANDBAGS A Love Story
Shoes versus bags will forever be a debate amongst fashion lovers. If you’re in favor of team bags, then this is a love story after your own heart. Monica Botkier delivers exquisite narrative and photography in this gem of a book. It is equal parts Vogue magazine and personal scrapbook. Detailing the significance of 70 iconic handbags from brands like Chanel and YSL, this highly editorial book is a must-have in the collection of anyone with a love for classic pieces.
5. Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style
Brought to readers like you from The Smithsonian, this book targets the history lover. It provides the full evolution and timeline of how fashion has evolved over the course of three thousand years. Putting numerous fashion icons ranging from Marie Antoinette to Jacqueline Kennedy under a microscope, this work really examines the course of culture as viewed through fashion.
6. Dresses to Dream About
From designer Christian Siriano, this book is a two dimensional closet stuffed full of some of the most beautiful gowns ever created. The founder and head of his own fashion house of the same name, Siriano has dressed some of the most beautiful women in the world in his magical works of art. Giving readers a peak into his Manhattan studio, Siriano shares the design process and inspiration behind his masterful work.
7. The Little Dictionary of Fashion
A guide to dressing for women from the mind of one of the biggest advocates for elegance, grace and taste, Christian Dior’s concise and eloquent book is a must-have. Full of advice and secrets, this book allows you to dress yourself as though you are being dressed by Dior. Quite the bargain in my opinion. The simplistic aesthetic of the cover reflects the design motifs of Dior and his legacy.
8. Vogue: The Covers
The Holy Grail of fashion and perhaps the most coveted cover in print, Vogue uses this book to celebrate its 125 years of history and influence. Incorporating some of its most recognizable and distinct covers from this 125 year span as well as every cover since 2010 up to the recent publication, this updated edition features some of the most famous faces in fashion, entertainment and everywhere in between. This is totally one of the fashion coffee table books that you’ll want.
9. ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: SAVAGE BEAUTY
Heralded as one of the most influential and original designers, Alexander McQueen was never predictable. Upon first glance, the cover of this book may not coincide with peoples’ visions of a fashion-oriented coffee table book due to its masculine and somewhat threatening appearance. But this centerpiece reflects the designer in a way no other cover is quite able to. Providing explanations and context for some of the most influential collections to hit the runways, this book celebrates originality and the life and work of a true icon.
10. Christian Louboutin
And now for the shoe lover, this book is a true celebration. Full of pop-ups and color, this beautiful and playful work of art is a testimony to the designer, Christian Louboutin’s unique artistry. The most iconic shoe of all time, thanks to the trademark red soles, this book incorporates as many perspectives as the women who wear the shoes do. From the streets to couture runways, Louboutin’s shoes permeate fashion and culture as a symbol of wealth, style and sophistication. This is one of the fashion coffee table books you’ll want!
11. TOM FORD
Precision, excellence and perfection are all words associated with this legendary designer. It comes as no surprise that they extend to this book too, as they do with nearly all things he touches. Tom Ford, now the head of his own label, explores his earlier work at the houses of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent through photography. The text within the book explains and explores the designer’s vision and pursuit in a gripping and dramatic way, making it one of the most intriguing fashion coffee table books out there.
12. Louis Vuitton: The Birth of Modern Luxury
There is no handbag more iconic and pervasive than a Louis Vuitton purse. Anyone can spot the original print and design several times in a day as a result of the brand’s immense popularity. The entire archived collections and materials and the three generations of men (beginning with Louis) who propelled this label into prominence are chronicled in this stunning work of art. From a simple trunk to a fanciful design, this book includes everything of note in the label’s history.
13. Chanel: Collections and Creations
Coco Chanel is hands down the most iconic female fashion designer – no – fashion designer of all time. Her revolutionary approach to women’s dressing and cool attitude towards life are still legacies of her fashion house. This book marches into the house’s archives to reveal history as far back as 1920. It’s elegance and subtlety mimic the design of the clothes and serves as the perfect reflection of taste for any young woman. It is one of the perfect fashion coffee table books.
14. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue
Grace Coddington is fashion royalty. A former model and Creative Director at Vogue, Coddington is the mind behind some of the grandest and most iconic pieces of Vogue-featured history. In this book, more than thirty years of her career are shared and it gives an intimate view into the mammoth publication that has touched the lives of millions. Elegant and loud all at once, the work perfectly reflects its muse.
15. Anything from Megan Hess
Megan Hess is an illustration genius. Beauty and whimsy are perfectly captured in her art and for this reason, I am unable to pick just one of her works. She is the author and illustrator of numerous books that explore fashion in an entirely unique way, Hess is the front runner in the race for the perfect coffee table book. Full of information, detail and fun, her books make the perfect addition to any room in any house.