The Little Book Of…

By Jo Phillips

London Fashion Week Men’s is over, but the fashion season is just starting. Haute Couture week is around the corner, starting in less than 10 days in Paris. In preparation, and to keep up with our new year’s resolution to read more, we take a look at two of the new titles by Carlton Books.

The Little Book of Chanel


Coco Chanel left this world 46 years ago, but her star is shining ever so bright. After all, she is responsible for some of the most ground-breaking fashions of our world, such as the little black dress, bouclé jacket and two-tone cap shoes. She gave women what they wanted, before they knew they needed it. With borrowing masculine silhouettes, she created functional feminine outfits, which were seen as revolutionary. Even after her death, she remains the immovable figurehead behind the House of Chanel.

“The Little Book of Chanel” by Emma Baxter Wright, follows the history of the iconic brand from the beginning – when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was a hat maker, through the early 20s, when her revolutionary inventions in women’s fashion became a favourite of many women, to the present days, when Maison Chanel is headed by the German designer Karl Lagerfeld.

The Little Book of Prada


The Milanese brand was a luxury leather goods company in its first years, and it has been transformed into a multinational empire by Miuccia Prada, who took over in the late 70s. The founder’s granddaughter was preparing for a career in acting, which she didn’t pursue in order to join the family business. This proved to be a successful decision, as her spirit and sense of style have been vital for the transformation of Prada from a small family business to one of the most influential houses in the Haute Couture world.

Laia Farran Graves’s book discusses the huge part Prada played in minimalism in its first years, and later it’s huge role in the return of femininity, with shapes influenced by 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Prada’s diffusion line, Miu Miu is also reviewed in the book, as well as recent collections, and the non-profit organisation Fondazione Prada, which supports art.

Paris Haute Couture week is happening between 22nd and 26th January.

The books are available  to purchase here and here.

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