Book club

ELLE (UK) - - Contents - Words Ella Storey

Five fash­ion heavy­weights dis­cuss the nov­els that changed their life

WE ASKED SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE PEO­PLE IN THE FASH­ION WORLD ABOUT THE

BOOKS THAT CHANGED THEIR LIVES WHEN THEY WERE AT ART SCHOOL

MOLLY GOD­DARD

Blood Sweat and Tears

by Bruce We­ber

‘This book has al­ways been one of my favourites, and re­cently my sis­ter’s boyfriend gave it to her for her birth­day, which has made me very happy. I like the com­bi­na­tion of fash­ion, and hu­man and an­i­mal por­trai­ture. Ev­ery im­age is grand, pow­er­ful and fun – and, as far as I’m con­cerned, that’s ex­actly what fash­ion should be.’ BELLA FREUD

Clau­dine by Colette

‘This book, by the French nov­el­ist Colette, re­ally in­flu­enced my aes­thetic. Her teenage hero­ine Clau­dine is so be­guil­ing and se­duc­tive. Colette draws you into her self-ab­sorbed think­ing, which is a com­pelling mix­ture of petu­lance and genius. My first col­lec­tion was in­spired and ded­i­cated to her; it was both de­mure and co­quet­tish – my favourite com­bi­na­tion.’

MIMI WADE

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

‘I found read­ing this book in­cred­i­bly re­as­sur­ing while I was at col­lege. A lot of peo­ple find it re­ally de­press­ing and for­get how funny Plath’s ob­ser­va­tions on hu­man be­hav­iour are. It’s beau­ti­fully po­etic and heavy on the flo­ral de­scrip­tions (which I adore), but this is never to the detri­ment of how con­sid­ered her words are. Af­ter read­ing The Bell Jar, I started read­ing Plath’s unabridged jour­nals and found her voice to be ex­tremely com­fort­ing through­out my time at col­lege. Her novel was writ­ten from the per­spec­tive of feel­ing com­pletely iso­lated, but read­ing it ac­tu­ally made me feel the op­po­site, be­cause so much of what she wrote res­onated. It made me feel less alone.’

‘IT’S BEAU­TI­FULLY PO­ETIC AND HEAVY

ON THE FLO­RAL DE­SCRIP­TIONS (WHICH I ADORE), BUT THIS IS NEVER TO THE DETRI­MENT OF HOW CON­SID­ERED HER

WORDS ARE’

MIMI WADE

ALEK WEK Light­ing the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Mod­ern Amer­ica by Karenna Gore Schiff

‘This amaz­ing book in­spired me when I first read it as a stu­dent, and still does today. It tells the sto­ries of nine in­flu­en­tial women who, each in their own way, tack­led in­equity and ad­vo­cated change through­out the tur­bu­lent 20th cen­tury. It al­ways em­pow­ers me.’

GILES DEA­CON

The Ma­nip­u­la­tor mag­a­zine

‘When I en­rolled at Saint Martins school of art in 1988, I come across a won­der­ful, gi­ant pub­li­ca­tion called The Ma­nip­u­la­tor. It had the most inspirational de­sign, and both con­tem­po­rary and archival photography; there was noth­ing else like it. This was at a time of no mo­bile phones, no in­ter­net and no dig­i­tal cam­eras, just fax ma­chines and colour copiers. I was ex­tremely sad when it ceased pub­li­ca­tion in 1994.’

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