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Isabella Blow engagement photo.png

The photograph that accompanied Isabella Blow and Detmar Blow's engagement announcement, 1988. From Blow by Blow, her biography by Detmar. Image via Internet Archive.

Fashion Biographies


        Biographies, memoirs, and the occasional salacious celebrity designer exposé. All free as of posting, but some require an account to "borrow" for reading from a library. As always, let me know if you come across anything I should add, or if a link breaks.

- Antonio Berardi: Sex and Sensibility, by Tamsin Blanchard, 1999.

- Beauty and the Beene: A Modern Legend, 1999, by Laura Jacobs. 

- Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow, by Detmar Blow, 2011.

- Carolina Herrera: International Fashion Designer, by Janet Riehecky, 1991.

- Chanel: A Woman of Her Own, by Axel Madsen, 1990.

- Chic Savages, by John Fairchild, 1989. Memoirs from the former publisher of WWD.

- Christian Dior, by Richard Martin. 1994. 

- Christian Dior: The Man Who Made the World Look New, by Marie France Pochna, 1996.

- Coco Chanel, by Jeremy Wallis, 2002.

- The Dawn of the Golden Age: A Spiritual Design for Living, by Paco Rabanne, 1999. One of several        books that the famed Spanish Space Age designer of the 1960s, Paco Rabanne, wrote on new age spirituality. Not a biography, and has very little to do with fashion, but like, who knew? 

- Edith Head's Hollywood, by Edith Head and Paddy Calistro, 1983. With foreword by Bette Davis.

- Ferré by Vogue, by Gianfranco Ferré, 1993.

- From A to Biba: The Autobiography of Barbara Hulanicki, 2007.

- Giorgio Armani, by Germano Celant and Harold Koda, 2000.

- The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand,                  by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, Gela, 2014. Don’t tell me this isn’t important to your      personal histories of fashion.

- Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren, by Michael Gross, Michael, 2003.

- The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, by Sara Gay           Forden, 2001.

- House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession, by Lisa Marsh, 2003.

- The House of Worth, 1962. Exhibition catalog from Brooklyn Museum with extensive personal             history of Charles Frederick Worth. Intro by James Laver.

- In My Own Fashion: An Autobiography, by Oleg Cassini, 1987.

- Isaac Mizrahi, by Lisa Petrillo, 2011.

- Issey Miyake, by Laurence Benaïm, 1997. 

- It Seemed Important at the Time, by Gloria Vanderbilt, 2004.

- Jimmy Choo, by Kerrily Sapet, 2011.

- Jean-Paul Gaultier, by Farid Chenoune, 2005.

- Liz Claiborne: The Legend, The Woman, by Art Ortenberg,  2010.  

- Living for Design: The Yves Saint Laurent Story, by Axel Madsen, 1979.

- Marc Jacobs, by Mary Boone, 2011.

- Marc Jacobs, by Leslie Wolf Branscomb, 2011.

- Obsession: The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein, by Steven Gaines and Sharon Churcher, 1994.

- Oscar de la Renta, by Louis Carrillo, 1996.

- Patou, by Meredith Etherington-Smith, 1983.

- Perry Ellis, Jonathan Moor, 1988. 

- Ralph Lauren, by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, 1988.

- Rosa Genoni, by Fanny Podreider. A short biography, written by the daughter of the foremost Italian designer of the early 20th century.

- Rose Marie Reid: An Extraordinary Life Story, by Carole Reid Burr and Roger Petersen, 1995.

- Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love and Fashion, by Isabel Toledo, 2012.

- Scaasi: A Cut Above, by Bernadine Morris, 1996.

- Simply Halston, by Steven S. Gaines, 1991.

- Stella, by Marc Parent, 2000. Biography of Stella Maret, a prominent model who worked for Jacques     Fath in the 1950s. Includes interview with Azzedine AlaÏa.

- Valentino, by Ronald Reis, 2011.

- Vera Wang, by Anne Todd, 2007.

- Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History,       by Maureen Orth, 1999.

- Yves Saint Laurent: A Biography, by Alice Rawsthorn, 1996. 



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