Must-read Fashion Memoirs


In the wake of the news that the late great street style photographer Bill Cunningham left behind a secret memoir called 'Fashion Climbing', while we have to wait until September for it to be published, here are the fashion memoirs and biographies to add to your reading list.

Grace Coddington | Grace: A Memoir

“If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.” — Time

See 'Grace' on Goodreads

Betty Halbreich | I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, With a Twist

"Her narrative doesn’t spill out messily but unfolds like a properly stored sweater She might be a bird in a gilded cage, but her view of the flowers outside is unobstructed." - New York Times

See 'I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, With a Twist' on Goodreads

Tina Brown | The Vanity Fair Diaries 1983–1992

"Here are the inside stories of Vanity Fair scoops and covers that sold millions--the Reagan kiss, the meltdown of Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles, the sensational Annie Leibovitz cover of a gloriously pregnant, naked Demi Moore." - Goodreads

See 'The Vanity Fair Diaries 1983–1992' on Goodreads

Diana Vreeland | D.V

"Brilliant, funny, charming, imperious, Diana Vreeland—the fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue—was a woman whose passion and genius for style helped define the world of high fashion for fifty years" - Google Books

See 'D.V' on Goodreads

Alexander McQueen & John Galliano | Gods and Kings

"Fashion underwent a massive transformation at precisely the time Galliano and McQueen were picked up by the French luxury conglomerate LVMH...For the first time, fashion designers found themselves in the spotlight, expected to be constantly performing stars." - The Guardian

See 'Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano' on Goodreads

Vivienne Westwood | Vivienne Westwood

"The book is billed “as told to”, but one gets the impression it was one long stream-of-consciousness rant, careering off on an uproarious picaresque romp through a wild and often unaccountable life." - The Telegraph

See 'Vivienne Westwood' on Goodreads

Andre Leon Tally | A.L.T

"He details a 30-year hitch in the chiffon trenches, from glam parties and unimagined opulence to the generosity of friends." - Publishers Weekly

See 'A.L.T: A Memoir' on Goodreads

Alexandra Schulman | Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year

"Her warmth and casual cynicism shine through on every page...a refreshingly unfiltered recall" - GQ

See 'Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year' on Goodreads

Leandra Medine | Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.

"“Leandra wears her wit as well as she wears her denim bib overalls. But at being repellent, she is a colossal failure.” – Harper's Bazaar

See 'Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.' on Goodreads

Isabella Blow | A Life in Fashion

"Crowe’s book is not so much a biography of Blow’s life as it is a biography of the life that Blow created for herself. She was a great self-inventor; and she invented Isabella Blow in the same way she invented some unforgettably extravagant fashion shoots for Vogue and Tatler" - New Republic

See 'Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion' on Goodreads

Sophie Amoruso | #GirlBoss

"In #GIRLBOSS Sophia Amoruso tells the story of her incredible success. She shows how everyone can become successful, if you trust yourself and follow your instinct." - Goodreads

See '#GirlBoss' on Goodreads

Christian Dior | Dior by Dior

"This is the most intimate story of a world class designer as well as a man who loved every single piece of haute couture that he ever created. He considered his creations to be his children, and once they were shown, they were the children who had left home to start another life." - NY Journal of Books

See 'Dior by Dior' on Goodreads

Diane von Furstenberg | The Woman I Wanted To Be

"Von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life—from childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolize independence and power for an entire generation of women." - Google Books

See 'The Woman I Wanted To Be' on Goodreads


Enjoy delving into the depths of the fashion industry with this collection of the ultimate wishlist of fashion memoirs! And don't blame us when your bookshelves buckle from the weight of your new addiction! For more inspiring fashion and art books, visit Designers & Books, a really great resource of books that esteemed members of the international design community identify as important, meaningful, and that have shaped their values, their worldview, and their ideas about design.



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Ruth MacGilp is an Edinburgh based blogger, and an activist for all things ethical in the fashion industry, as well as supporting the #shopsmall and #shoplocal movements through her work.
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