Vintage and Fashion design books

The Fashion Bookologist collects, reviews and sells a unique selection of vintage fashion and design books to designers, researchers, fashion and design schools, book collectors, fashion houses who are fighting everyday to keep up to the challenges in the fashion and design world. Readers of the blog will also find articles that result from the associations of various subjects. Japonisme and Modernism for example, Copy and Imagination, artists and Fashion, etc. I hope you will find interest and inspiration from them.

The Fashion Bookologist was created to respond to those who ask themselves: “What makes great designers, artists, craftmen…great?” . The answer to the question on the secret to success is a combination of different elements: talent, hard work, luck, education, curiosity, experience, open mind, open eye, vision, personal cultivation, opportunity, research, insight,…. 

“My best journeys are in my imagination.  I made them on the sofa you’re sitting on, reading illustrated books…abandoning myself to the pleasures of interpretative knowledge… I have been to every country in my dreams. I only have to look at a beautiful book about India and I can sketch as if I had been there.”                                                        
Yves Saint Laurent 

Designers and the Creative Call

Creativity today has become a really competitive business. In the design and fashion system little seems to be left uncreated : prints, shapes, color combinations, styles, cuts. In the past 120 years at least, the hems and waistlines in womens’ wear have gone un and down like a yoyo transforming fashion styles that lasted more or less a decade. Every generation waits for its next Poiret, Vionnet, Chanel, Mary Quant…

Yet today’s fashion market expects more frequent innovations. Designers’ yearly collections have doubled or tripled in number. The customer is fed with more and more “up-to-date” shapes.  As much as unsustainable as it might be, this pressure to keep anticipating the future t is part of what contemporaneity expects.

Igniting Creativity

Unexpectedly, the Covid-19 has shattered an enourmous amount of precious lives. In consequence of safety regulations, the economic system is forced to rethink itself. Immediatley after the first weeks days of lockdown, the fashion press reported that major fashion houses were starting to consider a revaluation of their production and sales processes. We will see whether this reports were just an emotional response to a tragedy or a serious, responsible and long term change of commercial strategy . If this were the case, will the creative processes change too? Are they related to social and market rules or do they proceed beyond these?

Creativity is a natural gift inherent to all human beings. Some of us are aware of it, others of us don’t. Some people feel an unignorable urge to unleash it. Each one of us finds its own way to ignite it and to express it.

Creative researchers develop a cultivated eye that detects refined refererences to the past or to different cultures in the masterworks of reknown designers. Talented artists extract elements from nature or from any kind of artistic expressions:  art, textiles, embroideries, traditional clothing, pottery, etc. As an example, Yves Saint Laurent and Paul Poiret before him, created successful collections which are part of history of fahion, by investing time in thorough research. Their enhanced sensibility and curiosity enabled them to point out apparently insignificant details from different sources integrating them in a contemporary project.

These designers I call the “Unlost in Imagination”.

About Me

Personal experiences, travels, tastes and memories, forge our creativity. And vice versa.

The Fashion Bookologist’s mission is to reach out to all those is involved in the creative processes of the design system (fashion, design, jewelry, textile, etc) providing them with relevant reference and illustrated out of print books that can trigger ideas, solutions. I believe books to be a powerful source to help free a designer’s mind form a temporary creative swamp. Above all, I wish to support young talents’ meaningful and powerfull inner call that needs creative responses.

I am a Milanese and evolving former bookshop seller who grew up surrounded by beauty, creativity, curiosity, history.  For the past three years I’ve been involved in the world of books as book seller but mostly as a researcher and collector. While working for the family concept store in the center of Milan, I’ve been also involved in the research division of the costume jewelry and mid-century modern design department. More precisely, I researched for thruthfull attributions, accurate descriptions, appropriate pricing. During this extraordinary time, I got acquainted with some of the most representative experts in the field who shared their precious experiences with me. It has been the most enriching and creative activity in my life for which I am truly grateful.

Like an Archaeologist….

….. I dash towards vintage design and fashion book expeditions with the enthusiasm of an archeologist digging up precious artifacts that will change man’s knowledge of ancient civilizations. This is why I called this blog “The Fashion Bookologyst”. Books hide precious clues that suggest me new articles, address me to new books, help me recover forgotten names in the design world that I can write about. Each one is like a treasure map with invisible traces that reveal themselves only to those who wish to engage in a creative quest, inducing the explorer to venture in different places and different times.

The blog and book selection evolve around two major themes: Modernism and Japonisme. It will include contemporary, or post-modern, designers whose work can relate to modernist or Japanese styles.

An exclusive feature of this blog is the Promenades Japonaises section, dedicated to Japanese culture.  Japonisme had and still has, a major impact on art, design and fashion since the end of the 19th century, interrupted only by the Second Warld War. You will find interesting stories of western architects, designers, writers, collectors who have been travelling to the land of the Rising Sun since it’s opening to the West. If you are intrigued by the oriental spirit, its refined taste and influence on western design, you will find interesting articles and book suggestions.

Armchair travelling – Inspiring Revelations in vintage fashion and design books

From my armchair to yours, I hope you will find your source of illumination from the stories I write and the selection of reference and illustrated books that I feel I should not enclose in just two categories, Fashion and Design. You will find what I believe to be the most relevant and inspiring books on textiles, costume and fashion jewelry, fashion illustration, fashion photography, modernism, early 20th century theatre and dance, biographies, and Japonisme.

In conclusion, in times of limited traveling the following quote best expresses the importance of  “armchair travelling” as an indispensable access to our knowledge of different cultures and as an essential starting point to creative insights and revelation. 

Rather than experiencing it through travel, the couturier dreamed of Asia like an armchair traveler, captured by its spell… . As an art lover, collector and reader with an extensive library, Yves was always in search of a revelation, a source of illumination to lead his work towards new horizons. Finding inspiration in the shimmer of its silks, borrowing the weaving techniques that produce the finest muslins, jamdani, renowned around the world, unraveling its golden threads and delicate braids, juxtaposing its colours and fabrics. Yves Saint Laurent did all of those things but he also rewrote the history of these many influences, combining them cleverly to create his own unique lines, deftly drawn and instantly… a piece of Chinese jewelry inspires the sinuous lines of a motif, an embroider recalls a Mongol cloak… “
(Charles Ange Ginesy – “ Yves Saint Laurent – Dreams of the Orient”)

Please contact me for any enquiry about books, categories,

or private comments.

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