It’s no secret that I love books, as anyone in my family will attest, having seen me laying on the couch with my nose in a book most of my childhood. When I was in my twenties, single and gainfully employed I managed to amass a collection large enough to elicit complaints from people who helped me in one of my frequent nomadic shifts from rental to rental. Among these are many design books which I cherish and refer to often when thinking about color, style or silhouette. So at risk of overburdening our audience with lists, I wanted to share six of my favorites (in no particular order):
This is the exhibition catalogue for an amazing collection of clothing K and I saw on display at Te papa Tongarewa in Wellington in 2003. It traces the influence of Japanese design and art on western fashion, as well as modern Japanese fashion design. An amazing show, the catalogue (as is so often the case) only captures a fraction of it, but enough to remind me of its beauty and power.
2. Pattern Magic Vol.2 , Tomoko Nakamichi
A series of quirky and complicated sculptural pattern developments. I have to say that due to the fact that the book is untranslated from the original Japanese, and the content challenging, I’m certain that I’m missing out on most of the meat of it. Nonetheless it’s helped me to think about clothing in a more three dimensional way. Plus it’s just great to look at.
A gift from dad, this turns out to be, in my opinion, an indispensible and incredibly comprehensive source book for textile designers and enthusiasts. One of these days I plan on actually reading the text too!
Another gift from dad, I’ve had this slim volume of illustrations from the 1900’s through the 1920’s for over twenty years, and have hauled it back and forth across the world. I love the colors and sensibility, and it was a big influence on the painted fabrics I made during the early years of modaspia.
5. Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries, Avril Hart and Susan North
Warning, this book is serious textile porn. I could have chosen any page, each one is just as lovely and sumptuous as the last, though the scans really don’t do them justice . An ode to an age of truly slow fashion: just imagine the hours of human labor required to create these clothes!
6. By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art, Shu Hung and Joseph Magliaro, editors
I love seeing traditional craft re-imagined in a contemporary fine art context. Features the work of three women whose work I love and admire : Tess Giberson, Natalie Chanin and Kiki Smith.
I have curbed my book addiction somewhat by way of avoidance, but occasionally I fall prey to the lure of Amazon and the seemingly endless supply of interesting and lovely looking volumes. I’ve begun keeping track of the ones I’m most interested in seeing in person here. Enjoy!