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Fashion is a popular stye or practice varies in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup. It is distinctively and steadfast trend character with constant behaviour yet include the latest creations of textile designer. These twelve books celebrate this theme of fashion and style, some are the story of the exceptional designers, some are novels immerse in the world of Fashionfashion, highlighting the fashion of the era, or simply a history of fashion industry that are prominent in it’s evolution throughout the years.

First Published: 2009

Plot Summary:
This is a book about the legendary Coco Chanel, which brand and creation are still countinuously made around the world even after she has been long gone. It depicts on the life of Coco Chanel, her personal life, romance, life history, and mainly her journey from an unknown seamstress to the designer for aristocrat and high fashion. Included with more than sixty color and black and white images.

Reason you should read this:
For the avid fashion lovers must have know who Coco Chanel is, her elegance and style for changing feminine standard to sporty casual chic liberating them from the corseted silhouette during World War I era with her jersey fabrics, chanel tweed suit, little black dress, pearl strands, the chanel bag and stripe shirts. She is the epitome of empowered women style, her work that shaped modern fashion and empire of haute couture to this day.

Best Quote:
“Saint Laurent has excellent taste. The more he copies me, the better taste he displays. – Coco Chanel”

11Shopgirl: A Novella by Steve Martin

First Published: 2000

Plot Summary:
This story revolves around Mirabelle Buttersfield a young, lonely, and depressed girl from Vermont, an aspriring artist but she works at Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus in expensive evening gloves who no one ever buy. She spends her evening with her two cats in her apartment watching television. Her life then changed when she meet two men, Ray Porter the slightly older, charming womanizer, Seattle millionaire and Jeremy socially inept, unambitious slacker.

Reason you should read this:
This book is Steve Martin best seller in New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Wall Stree Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times selling more than 340,000 copies. This is a story of modern day love and the pursue of romantic connection spread in notable high fashion lifestyle as a way of Ray Porter way of giving Mirabelle affection. A must read for you who love fashion and real romantic stories.

Best Quote:
“…it is not the big events that hurt the most but rather the smallest questionable shift in tone at the end of a spoken word that can plow most deeply into the heart.”

10Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, No 1) by Sophia Kinsella
First Published: 2001

Plot Summary:
Becky Bloomwood live in the prestigous London’s flat, glamorous socialite friends, closet full with the high end brand of fashion must haves but she actually can’t afford it. She writes for Successful Saving magazine with small pay and she even hate her job. When banks starting sending her letters with huge amount of debt she can’t pay, she tries to cut back but at the end the only thing that could comfort her is shopping and more shopping. So when she drunk writing an article made anonymous made it to front page, her life change.

Reason you should read this:
This novel of Sophie Kinsella is so successful and popular that it has been made series with different theme followin Becky life and her still persisting knack of shopping. Every woman who love reading chick lit must know this book, and Sophia ability to slip humour on the novel is well liked for.

Best quote:
“I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes everyday, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.”

9Scruples by Judith Krantz

First Published: 1978

Plot Summary:
Focuses in the life of Wilhelmina Hunnewell Winthrop “Billy” through her journey of life from the overweight with “poor relation” in aristocratic Boston Brahmin family then becoming thin with high fashion woman with massive wealth inherited by the death of her older first husband to open the luxurious boutique “Scruples” and marry her second husband the film producer whose movie won Academy Award at the end of the novel. Billy has been “looking for something” her whole life, and by the death of her first husband she realize she is still not happy or feel fulfilled though she is wealthy and beautiful. So she open Scruples to then she settle to just live in the moment and make peace with herself.

Reason you should read this:
This book shows the life behind the glamour and glitz of the wealthy and famous, how they are also real people with real emotions with their own unseen struggle to find meaning in life and pursue happiness. This book filled with insight of high fashion glamourous world of Hollywood unearthed in any other media. The perfect book for you who are curious of the real life behind wealthy and famous people in high fashion.

Best Quote:
“For my part, I think that the mystery is always greates where there is the most – emptiness.”

First Published: 2009

Plot Summary:
Phoebe Sanders quits her successful job in London to follow her dream of owning vintage clothing shop. She then embark on a quest to find the perfect piece of vintage clothing to display in her shop, and when she finaly finds a piece that will transform her life. The old French lady who own it refuse to let it go, and it’s historic tale of love, loss and memories will bring them together.

Reason you should read this:
If you’re into vintage clothing, especially the one with remarkable history behind it, this is the book you need. It also shows Phoebe passions for the beautiful vintage pieces that are not just a piece of clothing, as it is a piece to be treasured. An artifact that might be hidden with memorable stories.

Best Quote:
“I’ve no idea when I’m going to wear it, the girl replied calmly. I only knew that I had to have it. Once I tried it on, well… She shrugged. The dress claimed me.”

First Published: 2007

Plot Summary:
This book is actually revealing the stories behind the surface, the real fact of luxury fashion industry as it evolved to somewhat unrecognizable from the original “luxury”. The author is a journalist who covered the luxury market for some big publications in the United States for fifteen years. In this book she unmask how the small family run luxuy business corporate integration into luxury goods holding companies, and their process of making luxury available for masses sales, these multi billion dollar global corporation has stripped it’s meaning of luxury and achieved success with fashion shows, provocative commercials, dressing celebrities for red carpet events for commercial purpose, and licensing, franchising, outlet malls, and online retailing. Which lead to modest quality, uncontrolled outsourcing to developing nations, massive production of imitation version.

Reason you should read this:
This book is what you need if you want an eye opener experience of the truth behind glamorous brands in the acclaimed luxury fashin market. A lot of articles and media has write about the utilization of third world countries to mass produce and ultimately in the advantage of global conglomerates, yet this is a first book to really understand and see what happen behind closed doors.

Best Quote:
“Unlike perfume, handbags are visible on the body, and — like Air Jordans for teenagers — give the wearer the chance to brandish the logo and publicly declare her status or aspiration.”

First Published: 1954

Plot Summary:
The author is an iconic photographer with notable work with Vogue and Vanity Fair during 1920’s, which focus of robust views of the world of fashion and style. His inspirations which have shape his sense of style. And the process of an individuals making legacy and legend by their style.

Reason you should read this:
This book shows the author witty side in discussing fashion world, his playground of experience over the years. If you want to see the glimpse of Chanel, Dior and many other notable fashion pioneers of fashion world in the first half of 20th century this is the book you should get. Included with Cecil own personal drawings.

Best Quote:
“Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom, the first is being a bore.”

5Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

First Published: 2011

Plot Summary:
The novel set in Clayton County and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era, focuses on the young, spoiled, and rich Scarlett O’Hara who do everything she could to get out of poverty after the destructive Sherman’s March to the Sea and tragedy falls on her mother and father. Also her charms and beauty who have enchanted many man in her lifetime, to her three marriages and love interest. It filled with the southern belle fashion of dances and dress changing, the time when a clothing are set differently for an afternoon tea, dinner, nap time, any many other occasions. And Scarlett love of pretty clothes, fashion, and spoil life in comfort and luxury.

Reason for you to read this:
This is a very popular novel in America, and was the top American fiction bestseller in the published year with more than 30 million copies have been printed worldwide. A very good read if you prefer the complicated love and realistic view of survival during the historical American Civil war in the world of fashion of that age, especially the iconic and memorable curtain dress Scarlett wear to meet Rhett.

Best Quote:
“I loved something I made up, something that’s just as dead as Melly is. I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it. And when Ashley came riding along, so handsome, so different, I put that suit on him and made him wear it whether it fitted him or not. And I wouldn’t see what he really was. I kept on loving the pretty clothes – and not him at all.”

4The Devil Wears Prada a Novel by Lauren Weisberger

First Published: 2003

Plot Summary:
Andrea Sachs get her dream job as the high fashion magazine editor assistant, but her boss Miranda Priestly is hard to pleased and the high fashion world doesn’t fit her well. With every challenge she face everyday, it is not getting easier for her. She then start to marvel is it worthy to stay in this torturing job for the great recommendation in return, as she need it to smooth her way to any major fashion magazine.

Reason you should read this:
The author of this novel has worked as assistant to Anna Wintour the Vogue editor in chief, so obviously Miranda character is loosly based on her experience working with the famous fashion icon. The insight of life behind top fashion world and the magazine as it’s biggest fashion design advertising media, with a mix of the wit and drama written in it is definitely a fun enjoyable way to get the big idea of fashion world.

Best Quote:
“I’ve always expressed my thoughts in color but we remain blind.”

3The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

First Published: 1925

Plot Summary:
This novel set in the Jazz Age, the starting age of fashion enter the modern era, when woman start abandon restricting fashion of the past with more comfortable clothing like short skirt and trousers and man abandon highly formal daily attire with more comfort and athletic outfit. Especially the defining flapper girl who wore short skirts, bob hair, sheer beaded dress, wear heavy make up, drink, smoke, and drive automobile. With story of timeless love Gastby have for the beautiful, shallow, self absorbed Daisy that life choices has cause everyone around her in tragedy and pain.

Reason you should read this:
This book emphasis on the Jazz age lifestyle and social class differences, filled with glamourous parties and excessive behaviors. A glance to the elegant and extravagant parties of upper class during 1920s, especially for the fashion lover and historian this book depiction of defining fashion changes is very detailed and celebrated it’s glory, charm, and ferocity.

Best Quote:
“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

2Lipstick Jungle: A Novel by Candace Bushnell

First Published: 2005

Plot Summary:
This novel tells the stories about three best friends of mature age with the struggles of their personal and professional career life in New York City. Victory Ford is a fashion designer, Nico Reilly the editor in chief of Bonfire Magazine, and Wendy Healy the movie industry president of Parador Pictures. They are included in New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women.”, and will do absolutely anything to stay ahed even if they have to endanger their relationship with anybody. Like when Nicor betrays her boss to be at the top of entire magazine division, Wendy won herself an Oscar but her marriage is ruin an her children don’t care much about her, and Victory feels she doesn’t need a real relationship but dedicating her time to please the tough fashion critics for her designs.

Reason you should read this:
This is the book you should read if you are a fans of Sex and the City but with an opposite value of life, as the girls in this novel value their career and work more than their personal life. This is Candace novel of the look in the competitive fashion world of New York City, where the style is always changing, new people with an even better talent is keep coming in, so they are all feel compelled to be cold hearted and do everything for their individual benefit. A definitely accurate peek of New York behind the scene of fashion and lifestyle industry.

Best Quote:
“It was important to remember who you were and where you came from, no matter how successful you became.”

First Published: 1883

Plot Summary:
This novel tells about the rise of innovative modern department store in end of 19th century Paris, as the symbol of capitalism, bourgeois family, and contemporary city. Depict the process of change in consumer culture, sexual attitudes, and class relations. Focuses on Denise Baudu who works in the department store, as the author elaborate the internal system of store’s from the employees perspective. Meanwhile Octave Mouret the owner of department store in his way of innovating and expanding business has cause the local shops to close down, and his charm of dominating and exploiting women by using their own senses for his own social and financial benefit. As they fate intertwined and as he they falls in love to finally getting married.

Reason you should read this:
This novel has been adapted to several film and a BBC Television series. Its depiction of such modern innovation to department stores with combination of selling not only textiles but also all kinds of garments, accessories, even furnitures. Especially with the marketing plans that is the pioneer of its time such as massive advertising, huge sales, home delivery, refunds system and novelties (reading room and snack bar) to increase the customers shopping in the department store. This book will transport and amaze you back to the first time department store and its system of business birth then development which will then end with the success. The great insight of not only fashion industry in those time, but to more thorough description of the place where fashion are displayed, purchased, and enjoyed by consumer.

Best Quote:
“Very well, sir. A woman’s opinion, however humble she may be, is always worth listening to, if she’s got any sense… If you put yourself in my hands, I shall certainly make a decent man of you.”

 

CONCLUSION
Fashion and style are used not only to serve it’s basic purpose of covering our body and protecting it from outside elements, it also show who we are, every piece of clothing resembles the character and occasion on hand, it gives us confidence, brings us comfort, delivers a certain messages. The unevitable and celebrated factor of our lifes. These twelve books will surely open your eyes to the depper meaning and usage of fashion.

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