5 Holiday Gifts for Fashionista!

If most fashion accessories are out of your wallet range, don’t despair, fashion books are not. What could better please the fashionista on your list than hundreds of glamourous illustrations printed on lavishly thick paper?

Image copyright: Miya Herzstein

Reading List

Christian Dior and Christian Bérard meet at the end of the roaring 20s; the two men are similarly passionate about art, fashion, and theater, and their encounter marks the start of an unwavering friendship. Dior has been credited with inventing the New Look, which redesigned women’s silhouette, while Bérard, a genius, jack-of-all-trades painter, decorator, and theater designer, was known for his colorful creativity, excessiveness, and flamboyant personality.

Here are two artists who embraced choices both similar and opposed choices, yet the essential influence of the other can be seen throughout each artist’s creations. This book isn’t just a two-subject biography, it’s a promenade within a double history, haunted by dreams, affinities, and secrets. Richly illustrated by works and photography, including some previously unpublished, this book, published in collaboration with Dior, invites us to delve into the fascinating times of Jazz Age Paris, and the post-war Café Society.

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In 2023, the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais (la Cité de la dentelle et de la mode de Calais) is celebrating the work of Yves Saint Laurent, through an exhibition co-produced with the museum Yves Saint Laurent (Paris). With about 60 pieces from the Pierre Bergé/Yves Saint-Laurent Fondation and the Calais Museum of Lace and Fashion collections, complete with accessories, drawings, photos and films, the book displays how Yves Saint-Laurent mastered the craft of using transparent fabrics to create the outline of a new powerful and sensual woman.

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Dior by Marc Bohan

Of all the great Parisian couture houses, Dior is perhaps the most famous and prestigious in the world, embodying Christian Dior’s sublime vision of femininity. Following the abrupt departure of Yves Saint Laurent, the understated elegance of Marc Bohan’s design outlook regrounded the house of Dior on its original foundation of soft, ladylike, feminine silhouettes, which appealed to women around the world, from American socialites and international celebrities to royalty.

Featuring beautiful original photography by Laziz Hamani, this marvelous volume encompasses Marc Bohan’s most iconic haute couture designs for the house of Dior, from the Slim Line collection of Spring 1961 to the Year of India collection for Spring 1989. Fashion journalist Jérôme Hanover recounts details and anecdotes behind many selected pieces, providing insight into Bohan’s inspirations and influences throughout nearly thirty years designing for the house of Dior.

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Chanel Numéro 5 by Pauline Dreyfus

Arguably the most famous perfume in the world – most memorably endorsed by Marilyn Monroe – Chanel No 5 continues to fascinate and claims millions of devotees around the world. Created in 1921 by Coco Chanel, the perfume was one of the first to use synthetics. To complement her pioneering fashion, Chanel wanted to give the modern woman ‘a perfume, but an artificial perfume…not rose or lily of the valley…a perfume that is compound’, presented in a distinctively pared-back glass bottle that would become an icon in its own right (inspiring a series of works by Andy Warhol decades later).

With over 750 illustrations.

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Absolutely Chanel by Catherine Ormen

“Fashion goes out of style, style does not.” – Gabrielle Chanel
With more than 300 exceptional illustrations and reproductions, from Gabrielle Chanel to Virginie Viard, the fashion historian, curator and author of Absolutely Chanel, Catherine Ormen, invites you inside the sublime and eternal universe of the Chanel house.

Catherine Ormen is also the author of Dior for Ever, All about Yves and Un siècle de mode.

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Other recommendations by Albertine Team