5 Favourite Fashion Designer Retrospective Books

These are five of my favourite designer retrospective books, that I know and love. I am sure there are lots of other great fashion designer tomes, but since I am often asked to recommend good fashion books, I thought I’d choose from my personal collection. I am obsessed with fashion and photography books, but I have found myself buying them less often now that I am no longer in London. We just don’t have the same types of great books stores here… the one I miss the most is Claire de Rouen books on Charing Cross road. I used to spend a lot of money there, and her collection was fantastic.


Halston, fashion books, fashion lists, fashion designer
This Halston book is almost always my first stop when working on a design or trend project (unless there is absolutely no way to tie his work into the project I am working on.) The book is small and easy to flip through, and it has tons and tons of runway shots. There is so much inspiration in there! p.s. The edition they are selling now is a newer edition than the one I have, but I am presuming it is pretty much the same as the one I have.

Tom Ford
Tom Ford, fashion books, fashion lists, fashion designer It would make sense for me to follow Halston with Tom Ford, since one of Tom Ford’s most memorable collections for Gucci (the white jersey dresses with the cut outs) was inspired by Halston. I love this book because it has images of all of his great Gucci campaigns, the ones shot by Mario Testino and styled by Carine Roitfeld.


Prada, fashion books, fashion lists, fashion designerThis is an amazing book because it covers not only fashion, but many of the other interesting facets of the Prada brand, including their retail spaces and projects (like the Prada Transformer in Seoul) which are so important in making this brand such a powerful, interesting force in fashion. There are more images of the book here.

The House of Viktor & RolfViktor & Rolf, fashion books, fashion lists, fashion designer

Viktor & Rolf, xxxThe House of Viktor & Rolf coincided with an exhibition of their work at the Barbican gallery in London, which was incredible (the image to the right features an installation from the exhibit.) Each collection is dissected and explained, which is really important as each Viktor & Rolf collection has very distinctive story and theme.

Valentino: Themes and VariationsValentino, fashion books, fashion lists, fashion designer

ValentinoThis book also accompanied an exhibition, but this time at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. I love Valentino: Themes and Variations because it has a lot of detail shots (like the cover) where you can see the intricate handwork on a lot of the Valentino couture pieces. I have a soft spot for Valentino (I got married in one of his red dresses) and I love starring at his beautiful illustrations, which are also featured in this book.

  • Jill

    You got married in Valentino? Really? Can we see a photo? I LOVE Valentino, I wish he and Giancarlo would adopt me, actually, so I can live at the Chateau de Wideville with them and the pugs. Did you know FIT in NYC is giving him an award next month? I so wish I could attend the luncheon, but tickets start at $1,000. Ouch.  I own the book you featured here and it really is gorgeous. On a side note, how is the baby? How are you and your husband? Are you getting any sleep?

  • Anonymous

    Baby is well and I am getting a ton of sleep. He already sleeps for 7 hours in a row at night. He is the best!

    I will definitely post a wedding photo sometime soon. It wasn’t anything fancy, a red knit mini dress. It is too depressing to look at right now, I want to lose these baby pounds before I start posting images of my former thinner life. The luncheon sounds amazing, I’d love to go. But yes, $1,000 is pricey. You can buy some Valentino for that amount. It will last longer.

  • http://factoryextreme.com/ Grace Kelly

    I love making and designing my own clothes but I have never been to a single class to learn how. Instead I’ve collected tons of book to teach myself. Now I have a vase collection of fashion design, sewing, pattern-making, and dressmaking books.