Biographical books can not only be extremely engaging, but they also shed new light on the lives of people we often only associate with their work. What do biographies of famous fashion designers hide? Here are some reading suggestions

1. Christian Dior – Marie-France Pochna

Founded in 1946, the Dior brand is known around the world, and its founder Christian Dior not only shocked the entire fashion world with his innovative designs, but also changed it undeniably and already permanently. Marie-France Pochna’s book is not only a detailed biography of the great artist and the story of his path to the top, but also a description of post-war Paris, the prevailing mood and trends there. What mattered most in Christian’s life? Why did his great career last only 10 years? You will find the answers to these questions in this captivating biography of the French designer

2. Coco Chanel. Sleeping with the Enemy – Hal Vaughan

Not only have there been many rumors and stories about Coco Chanel, one of the most controversial figures in the fashion world, but also quite a few books, both fiction and biography. “Coco Chanel. Sleeping with the Enemy” is the first to reveal problematic and inconvenient facts from the life of the designer. It examines not only her bold and innovative ideas, but also her anti-Semitic views, her affair with a German spy and her sympathy for the Nazis. Hal Vaughan doesn’t mask any facts – after reading this book we won’t look at the creator of Chanel No. 5 the same way again

3. Versace. Genius, fame and murder – Deborah Ball

This item is often compared with detective fiction. No wonder, given the tragic events in the life of Gianni Versace, his death and the legend that shrouds the Italian fashion house he founded, currently run by his sister, Donatella Versace. The book “Versace. Genius, Fame and Murder” focuses on giving the reader a closer look at these events, including numerous interviews with people who were once close to Gianni’s heart – his family, lovers, collaborators and models

4. Yves Saint Laurent – Laurence Benaim

The first – and what is considered an outstanding – biography of the French fashion designer focuses on his life from his youth until he is hailed as one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. This book is a bit different from the others on this list, as it abandons the dry style and facts, opting more for poeticism and dramatic descriptions. But isn’t that exactly what Yves Saint Laurent’s life was like? It is worth mentioning that in 2014 a movie was made based on this great biography written by Laurence Benaim

5. Cristóbal Balenciaga. Master of us all – Mary Blume

A relatively short biography of Balenciaga, written with a light pen and in an accessible style, this is the perfect entry for a lazy summer afternoon. It reads quickly, and the facts about the designer’s life are presented in an interesting way. Many famous names appear in the book – it is from Dior himself that the subtitle of the book comes from, because that is what he said about Cristóbal: the master of us all. Mary Blume writes about this and other opinions on the Spanish designer who dressed the royal family

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