I used to own this exact same coffee table. I ended up selling it when I got tired of telling people not to put their drinks down on it without a coaster -- a real drag.
Even though I no longer own a coffee table, I still have a thing for coffee table fashion books. They're sumptuous, brimming with full-page photos of gorgeous clothes, and a great escape from the worries of the world. They're often expensive, but now, thanks to Amazon and the offshoring of nearly all color printing to China, not always.
Yesterday I was delighted to finally get my greedy mitts on a copy of a new coffee table fashion book, I am Dandy.
I'd reserved it at the library months ago when it was still on-order and I am the first borrower, which always feels nice. It's about contemporary dandy culture and consists of profiles of some of the most elegant/best-known "elegant gentlemen." The photography is marvelous and the interviews, surprisingly interesting. I thought about buying a copy but I have SO many fashion-related books already. These days, Pinterest is my go-to site for fashion inspiration. I think this is true for a lot of people today.
I get to keep I am Dandy for two weeks. If I can't stand the thought of letting it go at that time, I can buy a used copy.
I'm fortunate that the New York Public Library has a lot of coffee table fashion books on hand -- if not in circulation, at least to read on site. In most cases, once I've looked a coffee table book over, I'm done with it; usually many of the images can be found online. Still, a high-quality printed photograph has a richness that onscreen images do not. Also, fashion books' images have been curated. The accompanying text (usually accurate) provides context that's missing from sites like Pinterest.
I find myself resisting the temptation to buy coffee table books. I don't have the shelf space and there are other things I'd rather spend my money on. But they are seductive, especially if they accompany a fashion exhibit I've seen and enjoyed.
In closing, readers, what's your take on coffee table fashion books?
Do you collect them?
Do you use them as reference when you take on a sewing project and/or enjoy the escape they provide?
Is flipping through other people's coffee table fashion books enough for you?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!