Indian designers list the best fashion reads of all times
Are you dressed like Carrie Bradshaw - wearing a plaid shirt or a printed tee teamed with shorts - lovering with fashion magazines or like Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s clad in a white oversized shirt and blue eye mask tucked in your hair like a headband? Well, whatever you wear, the fashionista inside you will never sleep. So, if you want to read more and more about fashion during the lockdown, take that kindle out and try these books recommended by ace Indian designers.
Designer Shruti Sancheti recommends, Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edward Jones
While Sancheti was studying fashion, a few books left an impact on her mind and she went back to them for references and information. One such book is Costumes and Textiles of Royal India by Ritu Kumar and Christian Dior ‘s The Little Dictionary of Fashion. However she says her favourite read is Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edward Jones. “I read the book while I was teaching fashion and was yet to launch my label. Somehow surprisingly this book prepared me a lot for my retail and runway debut. It is a documentary written in the form of a novel, where it traces the reader through six months into a designer’s life, it explains how a collection is put together - from the objects of inspiration to the catwalk, into the shops and onto the cover of a magazine. It examines who goes to the shows and where they sit. Narrated from the point of view of an anonymous A-list British fashion designer looking to break out across the pond and structured around three most important annual industry events in London, Paris and New York. This book gives a detailed insight into the cut throat world of high fashion business and marketing in a very entertaining manner,” adds Sancheti.
Designer Anand Bhushan recommends, A Thousand Days of Magic: Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy for the White House by Oleg Cassini
The Delhi-based designer stumbled upon the book in London when he was there for a holiday. “I randomly discovered it at Barnes and Noble in London one day. I obviously was obsessed with Jacky’s persona. So the cover with her picture in a blue off-shoulder gown by Cassini, drew my attention immediately. It is a pictorial book with back stories that made fashion’s biggest moments....and that also in just 1000 days,” he confesses.
Designer Sonaakshi Raaj recommends, Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso
The book is a biography of a successful business woman who starts her brand from scratch. The book has insightful tips for those who want to follow a similar path. “It aims to teach you the trick of the trade, to learn from not only yours but also others’ mistakes and how not to quit. I stumbled upon this book this quarantine and must admit I thoroughly enjoyed reading it because somewhere her story resonates with mine. I highly recommend it to all the young fashion enthusiasts, because it is inspirational, motivating and makes you want to go out and accomplish something you’ve always wanted. Which is the feeling we all must derive especially post the quarantine,” says Raaj.
Urvashi Kaur recommends, Fashion Designers Sketchbooks by Hywell Davies
“Several years ago my brother gifted me a beautiful hardbound book called ‘Fashion Designers Sketchbooks by Hywell Davies. Ever since then, this book has been my go to for all things inspirational and helped me out of creative blocks multiple times,” reminisces Kaur. The book is a scrapbook with compilation of rich visual material alongside write ups, that document the design philosophies and process of various leading fashion designers across the world. Everything from images of fittings to mood boards to illustrations are packed into this book. “It’s a fascinating thing to flip through its pages, gleaning through the inspiration that it holds. Each time I feel like I’m up against a creative wall, I turn to this creative book and immerse myself in it. The significance of this book is that it captures the approach of different minds and their viewpoints towards art and design,” she adds.