The BEST fashion books you NEED to read

The Chronology of Fashion; From Empire Dress to Ethical Design, NJ Stevenson

This book helped me so much during my first year at university studying Fashion Journalism, especially within my Fashion History and Culture module.

This chronological catwalk, by NJ Stevenson, oversees the past two hundred years of fashion, trends during the decades, their influence on current trends, designers and their iconic pieces, as well as influences on society which effected fashion (such as war, woman independence, celebrity idols and music).

It takes you through decades of fashion from the 1800s through to fashion forecasting of 2020. Exploring though the years of evolutionary states of Regency & Romantic, Early Victorian, Haute Couture, The Belle Époque, Art Deco & The Roaring Twenties, The Stylish Thirties, The Effect of War, The New Look, The Swinging Sixties, Glam, New Romance, Retro & Revolution.

The book also includes a timeline at the back which is great to look through and discover when designers were introduced / launched lines / when their first stores opened, when the first fashion weeks took place, when Vogue launched within various countries, as well as historic moments such as the First and Second World Wars, and The Wall Street Crash.

The Fashion Book, Phaidon

This is a must have little book! It’s almost like a pocket bible of all things fashion related. From clothing to shoe designers, from models to cosmetics, and from jewellers to publications. It’s the A-Z through the industry. Available in mini A5 (and larger A4) it’s a great pocket book fashion dictionary.

I opened this book almost every time I wrote a fashion related essay. Especially case studies on designers, fashion houses, publishers etc. It’s amazing to have on your book shelf just to refresh yourself on all things fashion. If someone mentions a designer you’re not sure about, or a brand you’ve never heard of, just look it up in here because it’s bound to be in this book!

You’ll be familiar with every corners of the fashion industry before you know it!

Fifty Dresses That Changed The World, by Design Museum.

Another great essential for anyone wanting to or starting to study fashion. This book takes you through all of the most iconic styles and trends throughout history to show you how we came to recognised some of the most familiar and talked about looks today.

From celebrity influences to one of a kind designer pieces, this book helped me a lot during my Fashion History and Culture module, and also my Fashion Styling Module. So if you’re thinking about studying subjects like these then grab this book while you can!

The Fashion Handbook, by Tim Jackson and David Shaw

This book is a great guide to the fashion industry, exploring the aspects of business, critical concepts with information about the industry’s structure, core skills, working practises, careers and training. Other topics covered in the book include fashion culture, luxury brands, fashion journalism, fashion buying, designing, manufacturing, retailing, PR and styling.

This book also illustrates the development of the industry looking at how fashion is seen from social, cultural and commercial perspectives. It uses visual diagrams to show statistics and developments of the industry.

This helped me alot within my Fashion Journalism modules as it contains loads of case studies, examples, interviews and profiles, with some chapters even written by fashion industry experts.


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