It’s true: I would like a veritable library of coffee table books. They’re easily my favorite decor item — because as good as fancy candles smell, they just don’t make you look smart and stylish in quite the same way.
Coffee table books add an intellectual air to a space no matter the subject, along with a pop of color, sense of style, and bold invitation to be judged by their covers. For instance, my roommate’s collection is heavily travel- and Chicago-focused, and includes the Alinea cookbook and Louis Vuitton’s Chicago guide. My collection is a bit more all over the place — eclectic would be the polite way to put it. But one category rises to the top as my favorite, like the bubbles in a champagne flute: fashion and style.
It began, I think, with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Influence, a gift from my mom, and has continued with my most recent acquisition, Phaidon’s updated Fashion Book, which also happens to be a gift from my mom. (She has good taste in my wishlist items.)
There are few things chicer than Tom Ford or a Vogue volume displayed neatly on a shelf or tabletop. It helps that many fashion-minded tomes feature a bold, elegant black and white design, or evoke the subject matter within — the dramatic cover of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty comes to mind.
If you’d like to start building your own collection of fashion coffee table books, there are a few different routes you can go:
+ Books about designers, like Chanel and Chloé + Books about or by other influential figures, like models (Kate Moss), editors (Carine Roitfeld, Grace Coddington) and muses (Lee Radziwill)
+ Books by major publications, from traditional print magazines (Vanity Fair, Vogue) to the new guard of websites (Coveteur)