Fashion Photobooks You're Sure To Get Lost In
2016 was a big year for fashion photobooks—and a big year for big fashion photobooks too. Gisele Bündchen released her namesake book with Taschen that, at the very least, could be called a coffee table book, but is in fact more akin to a table. Ditto Naomi Campbell’s monolithic “tome,” as some are calling it, which was also released with Taschen, and would also come in handy should you find yourself underground in a tornado shelter, in need of something to hold down the entrance. And then, just last month, Taschen released yet another substantial, fashion-centric photobook—this one highlighting the work of celebrated photographer Peter Lindbergh. So to celebrate these wonderful new additions to the fashion photobook compendium, we rounded up our favorite ones in history. Tender, provocative, and oftentimes grim, these books are proof that fashion photography is indeed an art, and not merely glossy and commercial.
Juergen Teller: Woo!
Comprising more than 300 pages of trashy, hypersexual, funny, and immensely inspiring film photography, Juergen Teller: Woo! relays and transcends the raw impact of the namesake installation, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 2013. The book is a delirious collage, documenting 20 years of Teller’s wild ride with the fashion circus, plastered with magazine assignments, legendary ad campaigns, and intimate photos of friends and industry tastemakers in various states of undress. It’s a thrill to thumb through, and a reminder of the lives you’ll most likely never live.
Steidl, $60, buy from Amazon Books
Gloss: The Work of Chris von Wangenheim
Marc Jacobs threw a sequin-heavy soirée last year for the launch of Gloss, and detailed a rather intimidating dress code that included such reasonable requests as “gold lamé turbans,” “Patti Hearst symbionese liberation army gear,” and “platinum records as head gear,” and forbid “natural looks” and “matte surfaces.” with a feral zoo showed up dripping in glorious perversion and sheen. Stark voyeurism bordering on Weegee’s crime-scene aesthetic, the book lays out the erotic (and often harrowing) narratives in von Wangenheim’s work—ones that captured the punk, pornographic, and slightly bleak glamour of the ’70s.
Rizzoli, $85, buy from Rizzoli USA
The Smell of Us
A collaboration between Jonathan Anderson and Larry Clark, The Smell of Us depicts the cast in Larry Clark’s latest film of the same title, following the randy skaters around Paris in all of their sex-, drug-, and house party-filled teenage revelry. Featuring J.W.Anderson‘s SS15 collection—a ’70s-influenced collection that went heavy on the zip-up turtleneck sweaters and leather jackets—the book evokes the poetic wryness that has reverberated throughout the cult director’s career, now sharply defined in Anderson’s retro-futuristic clothes.
Document Publishing, $62, buy from J.W.Anderson
Brave, angsty, blissed out, and filled with raw emotions, the subjects in Kevin Amato’s The Importants are the faces of a new world that’s defined by fluid identities and inclusivity. In the book, the seemingly incompatible coexist effortlessly; vulgarity and grandeur, for instance, as well as fame and obscurity, and anarchists and prudes. Featuring Bronx kids along with Boychild and A$AP Ferg, the 200-page is so aesthetically beautiful that it’s practically spiritual.
Phaidon, $40, buy from Phaidon Store
Images via The Daily Beast, CR Fashion Book, Document Journal, Lehmann Maupin, and Tumblr.
Stay tuned to Milk for more fierce photobooks.