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  • Writer's pictureAbs

Books: Fashion Edition

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

I was never the avid reader growing up.

I would sketch and create doll houses, but reading always felt a bit too serious. I guess I associated it mostly to academic books that we had to study and remember for exams.

I was never the avid reader growing up.

My parents being the scholars they are, always encouraged us to read any and everything. We would have to read a book every week or two, summarize what we read and share it with them over the weekend. This, at the time, definitely made reading feel more like an arduous task than an effortless hobby - also because I wasn't very interested in the books I had to read. As we grew older we stopped doing this and just read for fun, which meant I got to pick whatever book I wanted.

For the longest time I thought I just hated reading and books were just not for me - I was an Artist - LMAO.

My first book fair was in Malawi. I brought home the catalogue of books that we could order and circled all the ones I felt drawn to. Every book I ordered was either style or clothing related. My favorite series' were Lola Love by Lisa Clark and honestly, every Meg Cabot book. I became an avid reader. The things that work for others may not work for you and I am truly grateful I got the opportunity to embrace and immerse myself in what I was drawn to.

So, in this blogpost I will share four Fashion books that I have loved and have been impactfulover the years:

Ralph Rucci

I got the opportunity to listen to Ralph Rucci speak at the Fashion Icons Talk back in 2019, fortunately after reading his book Ralph Rucci, The Art of Weightlessness by Valerie Steele (museum curator at FIT), Patricia Mears and Clare Sauro.

Ralph was the first American designer to be invited to show his work at the haute couture in Paris since Mainbocher in the 1930s. Basically an iconic artist, and this book explores his life and work beautifully.


Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes” by Dana Thomas, provides an in-depth look at the history and damaging effects of fast fashion on consumers and manufacturers as well as the movement trying to fight it. Tears were shed reading this one, but a lot was learned.

Fashion Portfolio

A professor at The Fashion Institute of Technolgy who’s work is proudly displayed in the hallways of the college, Anna Kiper is an exceptional artist.

Her book “Fashion Portfolio: Design + Presentation” really helped me understand and create a design process that works for me. Highly Highly recommend.

Fabric for Fashion - The Swatch Book

This was the first Fashion Related book my dad got me - It’s a very cherished one.

Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book” by Clive Halett and Amanda Johnson has 125 fabric swatches in it, detailing fabric construction, weight, and type of fibres.

My limited understanding of the dynamics of fabrics was a huge set back for me so getting this book really really helped. This was definitely a solid introduction into fabrics.


I know podcasts are a lot easier for those who don’t have the time to sit and read, so here are a list of podcasts I enjoy and learn a lot from weekly:

Dressed: The History of Fashion is a really great podcast to learn some fun Fashion History facts! April and Cassidy have a way of sharing History details in such way that you want to pay attention - It’s not boring at all and that’s how it won my heart.


I actually learned about the book Fashionopolis after listening to an episode of Wardrobe Crisis where host Clare Press interviewed Dana Thompson about the book. An extremely Insightful Podcast. The most recent one with Vogue Ukraine’s Venya Brykalin was extremely eye opening. Go listen!

Abs x

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