13 Best Designer Coffee Table Books

Best Designer Coffee Table Books

Chanel: Collections and Creations by Daniele Bott

Chanel’s combination of tradition, originality and style has always made it the most seductive of brands. Here the House of Chanel opens its private archives, revealing a galaxy of brilliant designs created by Coco Chanel from the 1920s onwards, and now reinterpreted to become the motifs for brand new garments, accessories and beauty products.

Inspired by the House’s signature fragrance, the legendary ‘Chanel No 5’, the book explores five central themes – the suit, the camellia, jewelry, fragrances and make-up, and the little black dress – and follows the threads from past to present to show how these key items have been rediscovered and reinvented by fashion designers working in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors. This visual journey is enhanced by previously unpublished archive photographs and original drawings by Karl Lagerfeld, as well as glorious images from some of the greatest names in fashion photography.

Louis Vuitton: The Complete Fashion Collections (Catwalk) by Jo Ellison and Louise Rytter

Founded as a luxury leather goods house in 1854, Louis Vuitton was for many decades one of the world’s leading trunk and accessories makers. It was through the launch of its first fashion collections, however, that the house reached unprecedented fame, becoming one of the most influential and valuable luxury brands in the world. This definitive publication is the first to provide an overview of Louis Vuitton’s influential designs.
 
It opens with a concise history of the house, followed by brief profiles of designers Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquière, before exploring the collections themselves.  Organized chronologically, each collection is introduced by a short text unveiling its influences and highlights, and illustrated with carefully curated catwalk images. The volume showcases hundreds of spectacular clothes, details, accessories, beauty looks, and set designs—and, of course, the top fashion models who wore them on the runway.

Dior: The Collections, 1947-2017 (Catwalk) by Alexander Fury and Adélia Sabatini

In spring 1947, Christian Dior presented the first collection of his newly founded eponymous fashion house. Soon dubbed the “New Look,” it grabbed headlines all over the world and turned Dior into one of the most influential brands of all time. After the couturier’s untimely death in 1957, Yves Saint Laurent took the helm of the fashion house before being succeeded by Marc Bohan, who was in turn replaced by Gianfranco Ferré in 1989. In 1996, John Galliano was appointed creative director, designing flamboyant collections for a decade, before the arrival of Raf Simon in 2012, who gave the house a newly imagined identity for the 21st century. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s arrival in 2017 as the first woman designer in Dior’s history also marks the seventieth anniversary of the “New Look.” 

Little Book of Prada (Little Book of Fashion) by Graves Laia Farran Graves

In this miniature monograph, Laia Farran Graves documents the history and heritage of the brand, from the company’s origins as a leather-goods manufacturer to the global fashion empire created by Miuccia Prada. Little Book of Prada explores the evolutions and innovations of the brand, as well as a design ethos informed by an interest in minimalism and contemporary art. Images of individual garments, catwalk shots and fashion photography pay tribute to one of the world’s most influential fashion houses and the woman behind it, in a perfectly designed and stylish format that makes a perfect gift for any lover of fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent Catwalk: The Complete Haute Couture Collections 1962-2002 by Olivier Flaviano

Founded by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1961, shortly after the young couturier left his post at the helm of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent would soon become one of the most successful and influential haute couture houses in Paris. Introducing Le Smoking, the first tuxedo suit for women, in 1966, Saint Laurent also presented iconic art-inspired creations, from Mondrian dresses to precious Van Gogh embroidery and the famous Ballets Russes collection.

Tom Ford by Tom Ford, Bridget Foley

Tom Ford has become one of fashion’s great icons. He transformed Gucci from a moribund accessories label into one of the sexiest fashion brands in the world. His designs have increased sales at Gucci tenfold and have helped build the Gucci brand into the luxury goods conglomerate that it is today. Ford brought a hard-edged style synonymous with 21st century glamour to his clothes, and Hollywood sat up and took note. This book is a complete catalogue of Ford’s design work for both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent from 1994 to 2004. It chronicles not only Ford’s clothing and accessories designs for both houses, but also explores Ford’s grand vision for the complete design of a brand, including architecture, store design, and advertising. Tom Ford features more than 200 photographs by Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Terry Richardson, Craig McDean, Todd Eberle, and numerous other photographers including many previously unpublished images. 

Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style by Jérôme Gautier

Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971) was undoubtedly the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century. Her clothes and accessories have remained perennially chic, and her legendary fashion house continues to exert a powerful sway over today’s designers. Jérôme Gautier tells the story of Chanel’s iconic style through hundreds of images, many taken by the leading lights of fashion photography, including Richard Avedon, Gilles Bensimon, Patrick Demarchelier, Horst P. Horst, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, and Ellen von Unwerth. This innovative volume pairs classic and contemporary photographs, placing fashion plates from Chanel’s time alongside those by the house’s designer-in-chief, Karl Lagerfeld. For instance, Cecil Beaton’s portrait of Chanel appears alongside Lagerfeld’s image of Cate Blanchett emulating her, and a classic plate by Henry Clarke flanks an arresting shot by Juergen Teller. 

Christian Louboutin by Christian Louboutin , Philippe Garcia

An extraordinary monograph created by Christian Louboutin, renowned for his beautifully crafted handmade shoes, in particular his elegantly sexy stilettos. This stunning volume, with a fanciful and intricate pop-up, an elaborate foldout cover, and dramatic still-life photography, evokes the artistry and theatricality of Louboutin’s shoe designs.

Celebrated for his vertiginously high stilettos with their signature lacquer-red soles, Louboutin has achieved cult status with celebrities as well as fashionistas. His eclectic and exotic designs, often incorporating feathers, beads, and sequins, are a constant and dramatic presence on the red carpet and in nightclubs and restaurants the world over.

The Style of Movement: Fashion & Dance by Ken Browar, Deborah Or

From renowned photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, the husband-and-wife team behind NYC Dance Project and the best-selling photography book The Art of Movement, comes their follow-up book for fans of dance, fashion, and photography. Spotlighting today’s greatest dancers–from ballet to modern–in clothing by today’s and yesterday’s most celebrated designers, this stunning volume takes the relationship between style, fashion, and dance as its subject. The dancers bring the pages to life with their grace and movement, becoming one with what they’re wearing. Whether in couture gowns from Dior, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, vintage Halston, Moschino, and Bill Blass, or in costumes designed by Martha Graham herself, the world-renowned dancers featured in these pages–including Tiler Peck, Daniil Simkin, Misty Copeland, Christine Shevchenko, Xander Parish, and Olga Smirnova–bring movement to style. The book has won an International Photography Award (IPA).

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton

Arguably the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designer’s career, from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own world-renowned London house. It features his most iconic and radical designs, revealing how McQueen adapted and combined the fundamentals of Savile Row tailoring, the specialized techniques of haute couture, and technological innovation to achieve his distinctive aesthetic. It also focuses on the highly sophisticated narrative structures underpinning his collections and extravagant runway presentations, with their echoes of avant-garde installation and performance art.

Louis Vuitton: The Birth of Modern Luxury Updated Edition: The Birth of Modern Luxury Updated Edition by Paul-Gerard Pasols and Pierre Leonforte

When Louis Vuitton: The Birth of Modern Luxury was published in 2004, the book was the first to describe the dramatic rise of the world’s finest luxury company. Written with full access to the company’s archives, it demonstrates Louis Vuitton’s passion for fine design with a stunning array of archival art, product designs, and cutting-edge advertising. The company is examined through the lives of its first three leaders—founder Louis (who invented the modern trunk), his son Georges, and his grandson Gaston.
Now with fresh information on subjects such as designs for ready-to-wear clothing, shoes, jewelry, and even automobiles, this new edition includes 20 additional pages and updated material throughout the book, covering the brand’s recent history, with new texts and photographs.

Louis Vuitton / Marc Jacobs: In Association with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris by Pamela Golbin , Yves Carcelle

Known for both craftsmanship and must-have high design, Louis Vuitton the luxury house was started by its eponymous founder in 1854. The first half of this publication traces the innovations by Vuitton, who turned the little-known guild profession of emballeur (packer) into the foremost luxury trunk maker in Paris, with a clientele that included in his lifetime the French nobility as well as the elite of a prosperous empire. Prime and never-before-seen examples of Vuitton’s craftsmanship, along with the fashion that went into them, are the highlights of these chapters. The second half of the book examines the role of Marc Jacobs as Louis Vuitton’s creative director (since 1997), who took the Louis Vuitton house into a new era with a series of collaborations with artists and designers—such as Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Stephen Sprouse—as well as designing a line of highly successful and desired clothing for the company.

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

Elements of Style is a uniquely personal and practical decorating guide that shows how designing a home can be an outlet of personal expression and an exercise in self-discovery. Drawing on her ten years of experience in the interior design industry, Erin combines honest design advice and gorgeous professional photographs and illustrations with personal essays about the lessons she has learned while designing her own home and her own life—the first being: none of our homes or lives is perfect. Like a funny best friend, she reveals the disasters she confronted in her own kitchen renovation, her struggles with anorexia, her epic fight with her husband over a Lucite table, and her secrets for starting a successful blog.