Random House reportedly paid 1.2 million for Grace: A Memoir (2012) by the one-time model and long-time Vogue creative director Grace Coddington.
Quote: "…while the establishment was still reeling, along came the snap, crackle, and Mod of the sixties Youthquake. Social barriers came tumbling down, and it became far cooler to go out with cheeky East End boys than public school toffs."
The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris by Alice Drake (2006) was also subtitled, synonymously, "Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent and Glorious Excess": Karl is fashion, Yves is genius.
Quote: “Karl sat behind riding side-saddle dressed in hot pants, long strands of pearls and dark glasses; he was wielding a raw frankfurter straight from the packet in one hand and a bottle of coca-cola in the other.”
Often obtuse in language, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl by Tiqqun (translated this year by Semiotexte) make perfect sense when read alongside any fashion magazine. Quote: “The Young-Girl is an absolute: She is bought because she has value, she has value because she is bought. The tautology of commodities.”
Second only to Oscar Wilde as history’s greatest fashion aphorist, D.V. by Diana Vreeland (1984) is the unspoken fashion editor’s edited take on her own life. Quote: “It’s not about the dress you wear, but it’s about the life you lead in the dress.”
Must have match: pair D.V. with a viewing of the 2011 documentary film Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel.
Cleopatra’s Nose: 39 Varieties of Desire (2007) collects two decades of essays from New Yorker writer Judith Thurman. Quote: “Tofu and Flaubert; a fashion show and an election; pornography and hair; kimonos and buliams--all have at least one trait in common: they put up a dogged struggle with my presumptions as a stranger trying to do them justice.”
Not just pretty pictures, these fashion books have words too!