Style Focus – Coffee Table Books At The Works

There are books that are made to be read and read. The sort of books that have dog eared pages, notes in the margin, pages turned over when you’ve lost your bookmarks. These are the sort of books you read on trains, on buses, by the pool on your holidays, but they are not necessarily the sort of books you love and cherish, they tend to be the books you read and then donate to your local charity shop, or leave on shelves in holiday hotels.

But there is another kind of book, one that is meant to be loved and cherished, books that are far too beautiful to sit on a shelf and be ignored, and books you would certainly never turn the pages over. I’m talking, of course, about the coffee table book – books often related to the topics of fashion, style, interiors and architecture.  These are usually hardback books, bigger than your average shelf can hold (hence living, almost nochalently, on the edge of a coffee table, to be admired and to browse through.).  Filled with beautiful illustrations of photography, coffee table books are almost as much about the style as they are about the content.

Bargain bookseller The Works is not normally the first port of call when looking for coffee table style books, but this would be a mistake, because it currently has a huge collection of books that are stylish and beautiful, perfect for lovers of fashion and architecture, as well as many books devoted to Art and The Arts. It is definitely worth checking out the special offers at The Works before you look elsewhere, especially as their website has so many more books than you will find in their UK Stores.

I have made a list of some reading material on my current wishlist, with the top read definitely being Icons of Vintage Fashion by Angele Hernu.

100 Years of Fashion
Format: Paperback Author: Cally Blackman Click to visit The Works

Rare Bird of Fashion
Format: Hardback Author: Eric Boman Click to visit The Works

Format: Paperback Author: Christopher Breward Click to visit The Works

1920s Fashion
Format: Paperback Author: Charlotte Fiell £7 Click to visit The Works


Fashion Universe of Jean Paul Gaultier
Format: Hardback Author: Nathalie Bondil £67.99 Click to visit The Works

Book Review – The World’s Most Influential Fashion Designers

As an avid book worm and fashion fan, my love for beautiful coffee table style books knows no bounds. From books about well known style icons, to tomes about fashion design and designers, I have managed to array a wonderful collection of books that delight with their images and inform with their text.

With all this in mind, you can see why I would be so excited about doing a book review for The Works. With literally thousands of books to choose from, I headed straight to the online fashion section and selected ‘The World’s Most Influential Fashion Designers’ by Noel Palomo-Lovinska. (Published by Barron’s, 2010.)  The tagline on the book promised to show ‘hidden connections and lasting legacies of fashion’s iconic creators’, which sounded both interesting and informative.


Click to visit The Works.

The book is beautiful and glossy, this is a hardback version. The cover is a perfect illustration of how fashion from the past influences future styles, with a 1930s fashion illustration of a beaded black evening dress juxtaposed against a modern intepretation of the same thing. Once inside the book, the designers are consigned to different catagories which then make up chapters, from ‘Designers as Celebrities’ to ‘Futurists’ and ‘Artisans’ amongst many more. This makes it easy to use the book for reference – you can simply find the chapter on the designer you are interested in.

There are many things to love about this book, both if you choose to use it as a reference book, or if you simply want to read and enjoy it. Each designer is given at least a double page spread, with some, like Halston being given more space. On the page, you have useful chronology, showing you a designer in terms of their influences, and who, in turn, they influenced. This is really interesting, particularly in the case of the American designer of the 1940s and 50s, Claire McCardell, who today is little known outside fashion circles, and yet seems to have influenced just about EVERY big designer from the 1950s onwards.




There are also plenty of beautiful images on every page (I particularly love the ones for the page dedicated to Madame Fortuny).  The photographs are mainly fashion ones, but there are also some celebrity shots to illustrate key designers like Adrian, who predominantly dressed film stars.


This is a really fantastic book for fashion lovers. Currently it is available at the works for just £9.99, with an additional 20% off applied at the checkout.

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