Fabulous, whimsical and legendary, the world of fashion is a rich tapestry for books – from collections of coffee-table-ready photographs to revealing biographies and memoirs.
Whether detailing the life and legacy of a designer or photographer, telling a scandalous story or offering nuggets of wisdom, there’s a whole genre of literature out there to quench your thirst for clothing knowledge.
And if you dive a little deeper beyond the catwalks, dresses and icons, fashion is woven with moments in history and conversations about sustainability and inclusivity.
From the late great Andre Leon Talley’s pioneering memoir of being a black man in the ruthless fashion industry to Vivienne Westwood’s lifelong mission to make clothes more environmentally friendly or sensationalized story of a murder in a big house, you don’t have to be a fashion fanatic to want to look into these books.
Whether you want to learn more about one of your favorite fashion figureheads, learn more about fast fashion’s footprint, or delve into the history of a house, take a page from one of these volumes.
How we tested
For this roundup, we looked for titles that taught us something new about the world of fashion, its people, and its history. Whether you love reading memoirs, delving into a biography, or looking for a new coffee table book, there’s a book for every type of fashion-obsessed reader.
The best fashion books for 2022 are:
- Best overall – ‘The Chiffon Trenches’ by Andre Leon Talley, published by HarperCollins: £9.99, Waterstones.com
- Best Fashion Designer Biography – ‘Vivienne Westwood’ by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly, published by Picador: £29.80, Amazon.co.uk
- Best Fashion True Crime Book – ‘House of Gucci’ by Sara Gay Forden, published by CustomHse: £6.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best Sustainability Fashion Book – “Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes” by Dana Thomas, published by Head of Zeus: £9.99, Waterstones.com
- Best French secret fashion book – ‘How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are’ by Sophie Mas, Anne Berest, Caroline de Maigret and Audrey Diwan, published by Ebury press: £13.15, Amazon.co.uk
- Best Fashion Journalism Book – ‘The Vanity Fair Diaries’ by Tina Brown, published by W&N: £14.99, Bookshop.org
- Ideal for nuggets of wisdom – ‘Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon’ by Iris Apfel, published by HarperDes: £19.45, Amazon.co.uk
- The best fashion history meets memoir – ‘Clothes… and other things that matter’ by Alexandra Shulman, published by Cassell: £9.67, Amazon.co.uk
- Best Coffee Table Fashion Book – ‘Yves Saint Laurent Catwalk’ by Olivier Flaviano, published by Thames and Hudson: £37.49, Amazon.co.uk