1) and 2) It’s not a topic I imagine you’re supposed to talk about, but The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll and Do’s and Dont’s: 10 Years of Street Fashion Critiques are the most popular toilet-reading I’ve ever owned. I don’t suppose it would be a good idea to write that on your Christmas present labels but it’s definitely true. Both are, obviously, NSFW, so not a choice for your mother probably.
3) One of the most-talked about fashion books this year, Irreverent by Carine Roitfeld is a beautiful compendium of the best of Carine’s career. You also get to see the veteran French Vogue editor’s boobs quite a bit. 4) The internet is divided into two camps; those that love Daphne Guinness and those that can’t stand her. I firmly stand in the adoration camp and Daphne Guinness by Valerie Steele documents the style doyenne’s transformation from heiress to high priestess of fashion.
5) Fashion books are a no-brainer at Christmas and the Yves Saint Laurent compendium by fashion historian Farid Chenoune would be a happy addition to any coffee table. 6) Slightly tricky to find but available in most gallery bookshops, The and Craft of Gianni Versace by laire Wilcox, Valerie Mendes and Chiara Buss is the ideal gift for anyone who worships at the gold, paisley, spandex alter of Versace. Packed with flamboyant designs, 90s supermodels and textile technology, it’s a right old treat for the eyes.
7) The Book of Skulls by Faye Dowling came out last year but I still don’t own it, so here it is again. Featuring skulls from the ornate to the graphic in branding for such diverse names as Black Sabbath and Hello Kitty, it’s basically just a big book of nice designs. 8) Art Deco Complete is sub-titlted the definitive guide to the decorative arts of the 1920s and 30s, which tells you all you need to know really. A beautiful hard backed encyclopedia of style, it covers the lot from interiors to adverts, fashion and food.
9) I’m sure I’m not the only person living in London who is obsessed with buying historical books about my adopted town. Edward Bawden’s London features 200 illustrations from the famous artist, mostly depicting London in the 1920s and 30s, but also work up to the 50s and the Festival of Britain. It’s dead nice! 10) Not a recipe book, just something to look at, A Visual History of Cookery by Duncan McCorquodale features vintage food adverts, posters, propaganda, catalogues, kitchens… really just everything to do with cooking except how to do it.
11) Sheffield bonus: Round About Chatsworth by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (or Debo Mitford to us) just has lots of nice pictures of Chatsworth Estate sooo… always nice. If you’re in Sheffield or surrounding areas, you can probably pick up a signed copy by Debo herself in one of the gift shops. You should! My signed cookbook is one of my favourites. Imagine! A Mitford pen touched it!