Great inspiration is continuously around us. One way to feel inspired is to pursue or get lost in design books. I have always had a love of reading, not to mention a deep interest and admiration of some of our time’s great influencers. There are really far, far too many to list (you should see my home library). However, here are the several monographs that will always remain favorite design books on my list.
Yves Saint Laurent: Une Passion Marocaine, by Pierre Bergé
Written from the intimate perspective of his partner Pierre Bergé, one immediately experiences first-hand the love Saint Laurent had for his home at Majorelle Gardens in Marrakesh. The consistent love for Morocco that permeated his mid-century clothing collections, Une Passion Marocaine feels more like a personal diary, accounting for the couples’ experiences and influences, and their love of life away from Paris. Know that it’s in French. But it’s filled with candid photos and easy to thumb through for pages of inspiration. For me, it’s somewhat of a nostalgic reminder of the female figures in my childhood, and a book I happily return to again and again.
Hockney on Photography, by Paul Joyce
One of my personal long-time influences, Hockney was always top of mind for me in my love for modern art history. Told as a survey of sorts, this book provides insight into the artists own reasoning for using photography in his work, giving perspective on his process and influences.
CZ Guest: American Style Icon, by Suzanna Salk
As someone who enjoys and appreciates the care and effort behind good etiquette, this account of Guest, an iconic doyenne of good taste, reminds us that grace, thoroughness, and even restraint are the creators of truly good style. As far as design books this is more of biographical form. This is the perfect read to remind us that even with direct access to the heady days with her dear friend Truman Capote or the craziness of Studio 54, Guest’s grace, style and manners steered her through a life very well-lived.
Rhapsody, by Kelly Wearstler
With a style entirely aligned with my own, Kelly Wearstler remains one of my all-time influencers when it comes to design. Her deep understanding of historical reference and her ability to layer and play with the richness of materials is something I strive for in my own work. In this 2012 overview of her work, you’ll see first-hand the opulence and luxury of her well-curated style. I could lose myself in this many times over. Keeping at the top of my design books pile.
There you have it. A small collection of my favorite design books. I hope you enjoy them and are as inspired by them as I am. Happy reading!