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We’ve already given you the rundown on everything you need to watch on TV this season, and since you’re going to be parked on the couch anyway, might we suggest some great reads to pass the time between primetime shows?
This fall, some of the biggest names in fashion are adding “published author” to their resumes, including Cindy Crawford, Donna Karan and Garance Doré. From glossy coffee table books to tell-all memoirs, scroll through for 10 tomes every fashion lover should add to their reading list.
Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell ($25, available now from Simon & Schuster)
From the outside, the fashion industry seems to be all about glamour, but writer Amy Odell aims to dispel that myth with her debut book. The fashion editor chronicles her rise through the ranks from a party reporter for New York magazine to The Cut‘s first blogger (she’s currently the editor of Cosmopolitan.com), and recounts run-ins with industry titans such as Anna Wintour and Rachel Zoe—all with a self-deprecating, biting wit. While this memoir certainly isn’t short on voyeurism, it also offers a balanced account of what it’s really like to work in (and write about) the fashion industry.
Where’s Karl?: A Fashion-Forward Parody by Stacey Caldwell, Ajiri Aki and Michelle Baron ($15.99, available September 15 from Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony)
Karl Lagerfeld gets the Where’s Waldo? treatment in this illustrated book, which follows fictional style blogger Florence de la Sabine as she tries to hunt down the elusive, globe-trotting designer for a career-making interview. Her quest takes you through 15 locales frequented by the fashion crowd—from the Met Gala in NYC to Tulum’s Coqui Coqui Beach—and features cameos by Kim Kardashian, Ricardo Tisci and even the Kaiser’s beloved pet cat, Choupette.
Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style by Andre Leon Talley ($50, available September 15 from Rizzoli)
For those who were unable to visit the SCAD Museum of Art’s Oscar de la Renta tribute exhibition this spring, this gorgeous tome provides another chance to view 70 of the dresses that were on display—many of which were custom created for private clients such as Diana Taylor and Hillary Clinton. Just like the exhibit, the book is curated by André Leon Talley, who was a close friend of the late designer and thus has many insider recollections to share.
I’ll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones ($26.99, available September 29 from Gallery Books)
Long before androgynous models and unisex clothing were trending, Grace Jones was blazing her own path on the runways for Yves Saint Laurent and Kenzo Takada. Jones’ striking, gender-bending look landed her on the covers of Vogue and Elle, and her successful modeling career enabled her to branch into acting and singing. In this reluctant autobiography, she discusses it all in candid detail, from her strict Jamaican upbringing and her Paris modeling days to her Studio 54 escapades and unfiltered thoughts on today’s pop stars.
Becoming by Cindy Crawford ($50, available September 29 from Rizzoli)
We’re not sure what’s more surprising: that this coffee table book is Cindy Crawford‘s publishing debut or that the supermodel turns 50 this year (she looks amazing). To mark her milestone birthday, she’s releasing this retrospective of her impressive career, which features personal essays paired with 150 images of Crawford taken by legendary photographers such as Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.
That’s What Fashion Is: Lessons and Stories from My Nonstop, Mostly Glamorous Life in Style by Joe Zee ($29.99, available October 13 from Thomas Dunne Books)
Joe Zee is one of the most well-liked figures in the fashion industry, and his affable personality—along with high-visibility TV appearances on The City and Ugly Betty—have made him a household name. While he wrote a few books on behalf of Elle magazine during his tenure as creative director, this is the Yahoo Style editor-in-chief’s first full-fledged memoir. Even so, Zee stays true to his personal brand by balancing the dishy, on-the-job stories with serviceable style tips for everyday women.
Coco Chanel: The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon by Megan Hess ($24.96, available October 13 from Rizzoli)
Even if you’re not familiar with Megan Hess’ name, you’ve likely seen her work—the fashion illustrator regularly sketches for luxury brands such as Cartier, Dior and Tiffany & Co. For her third book, she’s focusing on another one of her high-end clients: Chanel (or rather the house’s legendary namesake founder). Using her signature Montblanc pen, Hess brings the designer’s story and signature creations—quilted bags, ballet flats, the little black dress—to life, alongside classic Coco Chanel quotes and historical tidbits.
My Journey by Donna Karan ($30, available October 13 from Random House Publishing Group)
When Donna Karan stepped down as head designer from her eponymous label this July, it was the end of an era, so consider this autobiography her parting gift. Although it covers her robust career and company’s growth, Karan also gets deeply personal in discussing her fraught relationship with her mother, her romantic struggles and her spiritual side (she’s tried everything from silent retreats to leech therapy), so expect a holistic view of the woman behind one of the most influential American labels.
Love Style Life by Garance Doré ($30, available October 27 from Spiegel & Grau)
Corsica-born creative Garance Doré was one of the OG street style photographers (alongside her ex, Scott Schuman, who’s releasing his own title on the same day—see below) and has been blogging on her self-titled site since 2006, so it’s about time she landed a book deal just like every other Internet sensation. Part memoir, part guide to living a stylish life, Doré’s publishing debut features all-new illustrations and photos, and delves beyond the surface pursuits of fashion and beauty.
The Sartorialist X by Scott Schuman ($30, available October 27 from Penguin Books)
For the past decade, Scott Schuman has canvased the sidewalks of every major fashion capital in search of stylish denizens to capture for his hugely popular site, The Sartorialist. But his third book of photos took the jet-setting shutterbug even further afield to less obvious locales such as Peru, India, Dubai and South Africa, providing a truly global perspective on personal style.