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Must-Have Fashion Books for Your Coffee Table

Instantly win over your house guests with these six fabulous designer coffee-table books


Coffee-table books have always been a love of mine. I especially love them because they always burst with vivid photography, are easy to start on any page and never cease to create a remarkable experience without needing to read it from cover to cover (although I can’t guarantee you won't after you read this list). For any lover of art, music, wine, food or fashion, a few good coffee-table books should be readily available. That's why I've compiled a list of must-have coffee-table fashion and design books, so that my little fashionistas have something fabulous to keep on their tables and show off during a lovely evening with friends. Trust me, your coffee table will never look so good!

Prada: The Book

Just released earlier this year, Prada showcases an expansive collection of images that documents 30-plus years of the Italian fashion house. It is the first book to document and publish the inside scoop from the Prada Company — from fashion and film to art and architecture. On top of the many thousands of pictures (as you’d expect from a book about Prada) are a photo essay by Brigitte Lacombe, stills from short films, an overview of Miuccia Prada's "looks," a collection of behind-the-scenes fashion show images and the final products seen on the runway, costume designs and more. Prada has had such an influence in the visual and performing-arts community that one book could not cover its breadth, but this one does a fantastic job of showcasing as much as possible. This book is a must-have for any coffee table collection. Prada is a masterful work of art that exemplifies the passion, love and commitment Miuccia Prada had for the fashion community. Included with the more than 700-page hardbound book is a beautiful case that will make an elegant addition to any fashionista's coffee table.
List price: $125


If you love haute couture then you will be totally blown away by this book. With 400 pages of astounding original photography, Dior unveils 150 of its most sacred and brilliant Haute Couture dresses (seriously, stop drooling), which will leave any fashionista begging for more. Dressed to the nines, this book has everything from Dior including fashion shows, clients, launch dates, themes, designers AND haute couture dresses. The list price is a little steep so try shopping around online for lower prices. Trust me, your wallet and coffee table will thank you.
List price: $250


When I think of the old fashion houses, I think Lanvin. Being the oldest fashion house still in operation, Lanvin not only set the standard and defined an era for old couture houses, but it set the future of such fashion houses. This book is impeccable, magnificent and splendid to flip through. From the founding by Jeanne Lanvin in 1909 to the success in the 1920s and 1930s to the reign of today's design director, Alber Elbaz, Lanvin overflows with juicy imagery and shares the wonderful story about this exquisitely influential French label. You will be pleasantly surprised by the plethora of images, original illustrations, and beading and embroidery swatches in this book. Lanvin had a precise attention to detail, which you can clearly see in the pieces photographed in this book. Her passion, creativity and hard work shows and should be shared with all fashion fanatics and houseguests alike.
List price: $85

Chanel: Collections and Creations

I absolutely love Chanel and this book is my holy grail. I don't think I know a single woman who doesn't love Chanel; she invented the little black dress for crying out loud! Her explosive designs, workaholic lifestyle and fascinating love life are reasons why I love reading anything about Mademoiselle Chanel. What's interesting is that for the creation of this book, the House of Chanel actually opened to the public their never-before-shared pieces and design concepts created by Coco Chanel herself in the 1920s and beyond. The book also incorporates many unpublished photographs and original drawings from more recent head designer and creative director for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel: Collections and Creations is a true gem and masterpiece to add to your tabletop collection — the enchanting images are enough to give anybody a tingle in their stomach!
List price: $40

Valentino: Themes and Variations

The gorgeous attention to detail in all of the photos is enough for anybody to read this book from cover to cover and then start over again immediately. The elegant designs from the genius that is Valentino pay tribute to his amazing work and keen sense of beauty in all that he designed. With plenty of what every stellar coffee table book needs: unearthly large and beautiful images, Valentino: Themes and Variations highlights the Italian's work over the past five decades in a ravishing array of colors and designs. This is a perfect book for those who want more pictures, minimum text and who appreciate the designs from one of the world's most paramount haute couture designers. List price: $75

Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture

This gargantuan book is one of the most breathtakingly divine books I've ever seen. This masterpiece chronicles all of the wonderful collaborations between Louis Vuitton and a plethora of artists and photographers of recent times. From Annie Leibovitz and Takashi Murakami to Richard Prince and many, many others, this 400-page artistic mashup showcases the beauty of Louis Vuitton stores, artwork and fashion. Because this book is a compilation based on these famous collaborations, this is a book for architects, artists and fashionistas alike.
List price: $85

With these books in your home I can bet you will always have a great conversation piece with friends, enlightened evenings near the fireplace and will definitely be the most fashionable bookworm around! Enjoy!

To read more from San Diego fashion blogger Sarah Carr, visit sarahmcarr.com, where she shares stories about aspiring designers, promotes local fashion events and dishes out her opinions about must-have fashion trends.

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