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Dear Pennies,

Today, I wanted to do something a little different a feature a list of some great fashion/beauty reads. If you’re a student of fashion or if you currently work in the industry, or even if you just love fashion, you should definitely check out the books on this list, when you can. I’ll list the book by title and author and then give a brief summary of the book and why I chose it for this post.

Pen's Books

1. Skintervention by Scott-Vincent Borba – In this brand new book, Celebrity Esthetician, Scott-Vincent Borba shares affordable, do-it yourself tips on how to have healthier looking skin. Scott-Vincent is a well known beauty expert and has been featured on The Rachel Ray Show and Extra! as a beauty expert. I loved this book because it was quick and easy read yet it was super helpful! Tips like only using a loofah for a week because it locks in dirt and bacteria and also recipes for facials and masks makes this book a must read!

2. The Fashion Book (Published by Phaidon) – The title alone should let you know why this book is AUH-MAZING! In this book, every major fashion movement, designer, model, photographer, or illustrator is identified. This book is a great resource to learning about the history of fashion. Fashion is an ever changing but you have to know the history to understand this complex industry.

3. The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers – Much like The Fashion Book, this book is basically a dictionary/glossary of fashion terms and designers. The best part of this book is that it defines terms used in fashion and gives a description of various fashion industry icons. In this book, you’ll learn what jersey material is made of and who Claire McCardell is. In essence, if you’re serious about fashion, read this book. P.S. This book is a dictionary so it’s not written in prose format.

4. Creative Careers in Fashion by Debbie Hartsog – A great book for those who want to work in fashion but are unsure of which career path to choose. This book gives an in depth overview of many different possible career choices in fashion and also, the author interviews people working in the industry. I really like this book because the author doesn’t just interview success stories for the book, she talks to those who just broke into the fashion industry who are still working their way up, and also those who are in the middle of their careers. She also features a variety of fields, like photographer, fashion designer, textile designer, buyer and colorist.

5. Icons of Fashion: The 20th Century (Published by Prestel) – This is another history of fashion book. However, it also has amazing photography and it does an awesome job of classifying fashion movements and connecting it to history. It also gives great descriptions that are brief and to the point.

6. The Way We Wore by Michael McCollom – This book is for those passionate about photography and African American fashion. Even if you don’t love these items, I’d still suggest this book. This book is basically a collection of photographs of both Black fashion icons and everyday African-American stylistas. Most of the pictures come from the author’s personal collection or are borrowed photos from friends. Overall, this book is a beautiful collection of photography that showcases the fashion and style of African Americans and p.s. the author Michael McCollom often features Cincinnati, OH a.k.a. my city of birth so please check it out!

7. Chic Savages by John Fairchild – This book is an autobiography written by John Fairchild, the former publisher of W and Women’s Wear Daily. In this book, Mr. Fairchild gives details on how he launched W Magazine, created the In and Out List, and he also gives some great 1980s gossip on fashion. P.S. 80s fashion gossip may seem irrelevant now, but not when names like Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar de la Renta are involved since both are clearly still heavy hitters in fashion. In essence, check this book out to get a background history on fashion from a true industry insider.

8. ALT by Andre Leon Talley – Still an important editor at Vogue Magazine with his “Life with Andre” column, Mr. Talley is a great resource of fashion knowledge. I loved this book because I find Mr. Talley’s story to be so interesting & relatable. After finishing graduate school, he moved to New York where friends helped him get a job as an unpaid volunteer working for the legendary Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since his humble beginnings, Andre has written for WWD, Vogue, and many other publications. His book is entertaining, informative, and simply delightful.

9. DV by Diana Vreeland – Another autobiography, this book is Diana Vreeland’s legacy. In the book, Ms Vreeland talks about her life, working in fashion, and her friendships with icons like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and she also tells awesome stories about Josephine Baker. For those who don’t know, Diana Vreeland was the Editor-in-Chief at Vogue in the late 60s and she also worked at Harper’s Bazaar. She discovered fashion icons like model Twiggy and designers Carolina Herrera and Diane Von Fursternberg.

And there it is. The Fashion and Style of the Pen…de la Pen.