I’ve had my eye on this new puppy, being that fits in perfectly with my art and design coffee table book addiction in subject matter and so forth. But until I can thumb through it, I am wary. What if it doesn’t live up to my standards? Granted my standards might not be everyone’s, but I expect a bang for my buck.
As an artist I expect good photos — lots of photos, but the writing has to be there too. Here are books from my collection I think were worth it, and some that fell flat in my expectations.
Happy Times. Oh Lee, you gloss over everything and the photos aren’t even that good or well produced. The only thing cute is the illustrations from the book you did with Jackie.
The Fashion Book. Odd choices of photos to represent various brands, models, and designers. Maybe the reproduction rights for certain photos were too much, but really, it tends to bore except for a few highlights here and there.
Dictator Style. Small, bad photo reproductions, and not enough of a visual sampling considering the subject matter.
Bright Young Things. You wonder why some of these people were chosen, let alone many photos don’t even show off their pad. There are a few good ones here and there, but it is spotty. The profile on Serena Alschul, for instance, just shows her in front of a concrete wall because her apartment hadn’t even been finished yet!
A Privileged Life. Jayne Wrightsman is referred to as Jane — enough said.
Pad Parties. This one falls flat and has a bunch of things you’d probably never get around to actually doing, as opposed to the first book, where there was something for everyone.
Books that DO deliver…
Galliano. Need I say more? A good overview of his process, inspirations, important collections from school onward + part bio and philosophies behind staying true to the Dior tradition.
Over The Top. Just get it, even if you’ve never cared for her style or heard of her in the first place, just get it! Jewels, interiors, art collections, and old beauty treatments in gorgeous photos.
Design: Intelligence made visible. The motherload for any designer no matter what the product.
In the Kennedy Style. A good range of photos; Tish Baldrige writing in her usual style of name dropping that manages to be fun; anecdotes about various events, and recipes you can actually make at home that are easy.
100 Years of Fashion Illustration. Every kind you can imagine from every time period. A thick book with good reproductions.
Pad. A fun peek into various homes of L.A. creatives, it has resources and DIY projects as well. It makes me wanna do more stuff to my apartment every time I flip through it.
The Marchesa Casati. I talked about this before, but it’s a very comprehensive memoir and photo book of her and the art she commissioned from the days before she became what she was, and the inspiration she left after her death for designers of all kinds. The authors were clearly very passionate about this subject.