“I wanted to take a picture and find new ways of creating an image, a new body of work,” says the innovative, British fashion photographer Craig McDean of Craig McDean: Manual, a raucous homage to his two life-long obsessions, fashion and American muscle cars. McDean draws from his vast editorial archive for the photographic montage, juxtaposing fast cars and previously unreleased fashion images in clever and visually seductive ways. McDean collaborated with Byredo to create limited-edition merchandise to accompany Manual, available on byredo.com.
Craig McDean: Manual, $115 at RizzoliBookstore.com
A compelling assemblage of YSL couture and ready-to-wear pieces worn by fashion icons from the 60s through 80s (Audrey Hepburn, Veruschka) ties a bow on a career that still astonishes. With photographs from such master lensmen as Richard Avedon, William Klein, and Helmut Newton, the reissue of Yves Saint Laurent: Icons of Fashion Design and Photography continues to be a collector’s delight. Yves Saint Laurent: Icons of Fashion Design and Photography, $35 at AbramsBooks.com
Fans of Hermès’ playful book projects will love this year’s offering Hermès: Heavenly Days by Alice Charbin and Rachael Canepari–300 whimsical illustrations from the Paris-based artist Charbin, whose collaborations with the French luxury goods house spans 18 years. Spot the iconic orange popping up in unexpected places.
Hermès: Heavenly Days, $40 at AbramsBooks.com
“John unleashed a special brand of style alchemy,” writes Hamish Bowles in John Galliano for Dior, a definitive photographic history of the British designer’s extraordinary 15-year tenure as artistic director of the House of Dior. Whether backstage or front-of-house, Vogue photographer Robert Fairer was there to capture the energy, romanticism, technical brilliance, and sheer joy of Galliano’s groundbreaking shows from 1996 until 2011.
John Galliano for Dior, $160 at ThamesandHudsonUSA.com
Central Saint Martins in London is the place where Britain’s coolest young creatives have long developed their talents—an extraordinary list that includes Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton, John Galliano, and Riccardo Tisci, along with such fashion journalists as Iain R. Webb and Avenue’s own Catherine St Germans. Fashion Central Saint Martins is a treasure trove of writings, doodles, photographs and unseen student work, and a tribute to the philosophy of creative freedom espoused by Central Saint Martins, which makes it arguably the greatest fashion school in the world.
Fashion Central Saint Martins, $39.95 at ThamesandHudsonUSA.com
Eleanor Lambert launched the International Best Dressed List in 1940 in order to “carry the torch” for Parisian dressmakers as German tanks rumbled into Paris. The now legendary result is an annual list selected by a committee of fashion cognoscenti that became a powerful, much-anticipated barometer of the art of dressing well. It continues apace to this day because Lambert had the foresight to entrust it to good hands: author and journalist Amy Fine Collins, alongside Graydon Carter, Aimee Bell, and Reinaldo Herrera. This list has now migrated from Vanity Fair to Carter’s weekly digital magazine, AirMail, where the public is invited to join in on the voting. For The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story by Amy Fine Collins, the author had full access to Lambert’s archives and has assembled a trove of effervescent photographs.
The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story, $75 at RizzoliBookstore.com