Fashion School Required Reading

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

June 7, 2006

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Check out these must-read fashion books chosen by none other than Barneys New York's creative director Simon Doonan for the Wall Street Journal. Here is his reading list for the fashion forward, clothing design aspirant, or the fashion maverick.

An Iconic Clothing Design Editor

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Doonan describes Diane Vreeland's Allure as "the book I would grab if the house were burning down." Diane Vreeland was an iconic fashion editor who in this book assembles her favorite fashion and clothing design images, including pictures of Brigitte Bardot's famous pout.

Halton's Fashion Career

Simply Halston is another of Doonan's picks. This book details the life and fashion career of Halston, the man who made his name through exquisite millinery. New York Times writer Woody Hochswender called Simply Halston "a brisk, competent book that so thoroughly plumbs its subject's drug and sexual habits you forget, for the most part, that he became famous for being a clothing designer."

Fictional Fashion Careers

Fiction also figures prominently in Doonan's list of top fashion books. Doonan writes that Muriel Spark's The Girls of Slender Means, published in 1963, is what chick-lit wishes it could be. Another novel, Judith Krantz's Scruples, tells the tale of "a staggeringly luxurious life of a Beverly Hills boutique and the people who work in it." At least that's the thrust of the plot according to the book's cover.

Not Your Fashion School Textbook

Okay, so this isn't exactly fashion school reading. It's more like something you'd indulge in during a break from fashion school. In any case, you might find inspiration for your own fashion career or simply enjoy a well-deserved escape in one of Doonan's favorite fashion books.


About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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