Coffee Table Essential Reads (Even Without The Coffee Table)

For a girl with no coffee table or even a bookcase, I own quite a few coffee table books. I think there’s just something about a book with beautiful images, especially in pink tones, I’m drawn to and one day I hope to have a coffee table to put these on and maybe a bookcase for all the others I’m bound to get over the years. I’ve asked Ben for a coffee table for my birthday when I eventually have my own place!

Before I begin, let me start by saying these are coffee table books for those of you that are interested in fashion, the history of fashion, fashion in film, beautiful photography and mainly Audrey Hepburn. I promise all these books aren’t just about her, her gorgeous face and style just so happens to grace the front covers.

*Future Maisie: I apologise for the low photo quality within this post. I decided to get out my old bridge camera thinking the photos would be better than my iPhone. Wrong. I, of course, didn’t want to ditch this post! I took one more post with this camera and then it’ll be back to the strangely much better iPhone camera.*

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Fashion in Film

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The most recent book in collection is this whopper, gifted to me for my birthday by my Grandparents. They know of course that I love Audrey and also that I have a real interest in costume design within film, which I found a bit of love for when I studied fashion design and decided to carry out a project on film costume accuracy. I think if I did want to pursue fashion design, it would 100% be in costume. This book shows how designers have worked in film or inspired the costume designer, and is divided up by designer and then sub sectioned into films, it also has a little bit of context at the front of the book too. This is a little bit more wordy than the very similar 100 Years of Fashion book, but still featuring beautiful imagery of design, catwalk, film and behind the scene stills. The cover is of course beautiful too, with a slightly more original shot from Breakfast at Tiffany’s with copper foil lettering- essential to a coffee table books & flat lay Instagrams.

100 Years of Fashion

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This book has been a firm favourite for about 2 years now, a gift from my boyfriend for Christmas, it’s probably been the only book I’ve properly read and used when studying fashion. I’m a huge history nerd and of course love fashion, so this is all my obsessions in one, and even if you are just into fashion, I think this is an essential to understanding style. The cover is beautiful (if you look closely you may see a slight rip from where Ben decided it would be a good idea to tape the wrapping paper to the actual book) and is one of my favourite shots of Audrey. This book is very visual, with the wording heavy at the start of every chapter and then gorgeous glossy images ranging from historical documents and illustrations, to really different and interesting photography. A must for any fashion lover.

What Would Audrey Do?

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Okay, if you actually read some of the words in this book it’s sexist. When one day I decided to try reading the words in this book I decided to skip to the romance section, feeling this was most interesting, to be told that when us women get married we must put our own opinions behind us and take our husband’s name in order to not damage his ego. I laughed. Audrey obviously lived in a different time, although I always saw her as a feminist character due to her different look and opinionated lines. I guess this is more of a pretty flick through book, to be taken with a pinch of salt, but the best part for me is where the author writes where Audrey would go when in New York, as well as vague directions to find Holly’s apartment building in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Alexa Chung IT

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I’m not going to pretend I’m a huge Alexa Chung fan, but of course I appreciate her style, although quite different to mine. It’s a real mix of small pieces of text with imagery from Alexa herself, inspirational images and little drawing. It’s 100% a book that you can flick through but still really get a feel of Alexa’s personality, even without reading it. I got gifted it in a paperback, quite gladly because I’m running out of cupboard room, but it does come in a hardback.

The Audrey Hepburn Treasures

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When I was in fashion class one day, this lady came in to donate some books, they were mostly pretty standard until she pulled out this one to show us, and of course being about Audrey Hepburn everyone looked at me because I am a little obsessed, and the lady kindly gifted it to me. If I’m honest it smelt really bad of like dust maybe, so I kind of didn’t touch it for a while, but now I’ve had a proper look at it, this is 100% the book to get if you love Audrey or know someone who does. It’s not only imagery and text, nooooo, the has documents, letters, invitations (copies of course) alongside the text, to really help tell the life story of this amazing lady. It’s a book that covers everything, from her life, to style, to film and history. It’s also really cheap for what it is!

The Teen Vogue Handbook 

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This is the first book I ever got when I decided, aged 13, that I wanted pursue a career in fashion. I remember that I’d just started a blog and decided that I wanted to be a fashion journalist because I very quickly became obsessed with with writing. Obviously if you are slightly older, this may not be the book for you, but if you know a young teenager really interested in fashion, this would make a lovely gift, but I know I will keep into the future. It covers various different fashion industries from modelling to journalism and photography, with insider stories, ways to make yourself noticed in the industry, advice and really inspirational words. It also has pages within it I know I will be using soon about writing CVs for fashion, going about finding work and how to ace an interview. It’s a really helpful and non patronising book for those who love fashion. Some of the editorial images are slightly dated now though, some so much that it’s funny.

Walking on Sunshine

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I have mixed feelings about this book because as a 19 year old it’s very hard to find self help books you can really relate to, because I don’t have my own home or a full time job. This is very much like that, so is one for slightly older people I’m thinking. The cover is cute though and it it written in such small sections you can just flick through and pick it up now and then.

And those are my top coffee table reads, that are actually in fact stuffed in my wardrobe for now! Ideally I want a really lush coffee table and a bookshelf built under the stairs in my dream house where I can rotate books, and of course there would also be the latest issue of Elle popped on top of my book too.

Until next time,

Maisie x

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