Over the past couple of years, coffee table books have skyrocketed to popularity in the publishing world; and it seems like everyone who’s anyone is releasing one nowadays. While most of these oversized books usually feature minimal writing and an overload of photographs, people enjoy flipping through and utilizing them to accentuate their home décor. From fashion to cooking recipes to memoirs, it’s impossible to sit down and read through every coffee table book placed on the shelves. That’s why we sorted through the 2014 releases and chose which coffee-table books are a definite must-read this year.
A Journey of a Dress by Diane von Furstenberg and Bill Katz
After wrapping up her 2014 exhibition “Journey of a Dress” at the Wilshire May Company Building in Los Angeles, Diane von Furstenberg didn’t want people to forget about her wrap-dress display just yet. The iconic evolution of von Furstenberg’s captivating career has been commemorated in her newest fashion endeavor: A Journey of a Dress coffee-table book. Filled with 256 pages of colorful photographs of her recent exhibition and the process it took to create it, this coffee-table book is a must-have for anyone who idolizes the famed fashionista.
At the Emperor’s Table by André Leon Talley
Written by former Vogue editor-at-large and personal friend of Valentino, André Leon Talley, At the Emperor’s Table dedicates its pages to the extravagant life lead by fashion-house extraordinaire Valentino Garavani. The designer, who has had an incredible 40-year career, not only loves to design his couture collections, but also entertaining guests in his five homes in Rome, London, Paris, Gstaad and New York. With powerful visuals of his homes shot by Oberto Gili, art collections and recipes from Valentino’s very own chef, readers get a chance to delve into this distinguished designer’s fabulously lavish life.
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
Although this coffee-table book was released in 2013, Humans of New York has gained international popularity throughout 2014. Stanton, whose passion is photography, set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers. But, his project direction formed a different path. Instead of just photographing random strangers, Stanton decided to get to know them by listening to stories about their lives and then used snippets of their conversation as the photo caption. Now, Stanton has expanded his Humans of New York project to numerous countries including Jerusalem, Mexico and Vietnam. With over eight million followers on social media, Stanton has no intention on slowing down, and hopes to continue sharing the lives New Yorkers with the world.
Who We Are by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams
In 2014, the well-known premier home furnishings company, Mitchell Gold + Bob, Williams celebrated 25 years of business in the shelter world. Due to their company’s milestone, the two owners decided it would be appropriate to release their very-own coffee table book to commemorate their accomplishments had throughout the years. Featuring an array of their most memorable shelter pieces and displays, business mantras and future ideas, the two home designers also included various recipes created by their very own chef, Sean Robinson—allowing readers to experience the all-around home comfort their company strives for.
Monsieur Dior: Once Upon A Time by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
While Christian Dior ruled his notable fashion empire for only ten years before his untimely death in 1957, the legacy he left behind continuously dominates the fashion world today. Monsieur Dior gives readers the chance to explore through photos taken during Dior’s ten year reign over his own fashion company, where he expanded his brand tremendously to not only include clothing but other items like perfumes and jewelry. Author Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni dives deep into Dior’s final years by interviewing close friends, clients and business associates, as well as including never-before-seen photographs and information about the distinguished designer.
Lanvin: I Love You by Alber Elbaz
Lanvin has been a popular brand name since the fashion house was founded in 1889, but has grown to popularity over the past decade when fashion designer Alber Elbaz began working for the Parisian company as their design director. While Elbaz is recognized for his elaborate and elegant clothing designs, the director is also known for his intricate window displays, which are exhibited in Lavin storefronts all around the globe. To honor Lanvin’s coveted displays, Elbaz created Lanvin: I Love You to deliver these worldwide phenomena directly into readers’ homes. The book also includes unused Lanvin sketches from Elbaz himself.
Vogue and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People by Hamish Bowles and Chloe Malle
Every year, heads turn to see what people are wearing to the Met Gala. Partnered with Vogue, the glamourous wardrobes never cease to disappoint—and neither do the exhibitions. Filled with fabulous creations (2011’s exhibition featured Alexander McQueen and 2013’s theme was Punk), thousands of people flock to the museum each year to view the exhibition. Because of the immeasurable popularity the exhibition and the Met Gala receive, Vogue and the Met has teamed up yet again to create their coffee table book. With photos from the exhibition, gala and articles taken from the Vogue’s archives, this coffee table book is sure to fill your needs until the next Gala and exhibition arrives.
Tory Burch in Color by Tory Burch
2014 has proven to be Tory Burch’s year: the luxury designer released her first-ever timepiece collection alongside Fossil and team up with Fitbit to create her own line of compatible accessories. To add to that, Burch decided to expand her business endeavors even further by releasing her first coffee table book called Tory Burch in Color. Organized by color, this book explores the world of Tory Burch and what inspires her designs daily. Besides inspiration, she also offers readers advice on pursuing your dreams in the business world as well as including personal photos of her and her family. With a forward written by Vogue’s notable editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Tory Burch in Color is a must-have this year.
The Haute Couture Atelier: The Artisans of Fashion by Helene Farnault
Ever wonder how every fashion designers’ elegant haute couture collections are produced? Well, this coffee table book answers all of your questions. The author, Helene Farnault, explores the behind-the-scenes of the Haute Couture world by bringing to light the artisans behind each well-designed piece. Including photographs of embroiderers, weavers, lace makers and many others in production, Farnault finally unveils the hidden secrets of the fashion world.
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day
David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day created a coffee table book solely to the one item that is always the life of the party: Cocktails. In correlation with their bar ‘Death & Co’ located in the East Village of NYC—where the three gentlemen strive to provide their customers with the best cocktail menus you can find—the same goes for their book. Filled with over 500 cocktail recipes, step-by-step instructions, ways to learn the art of pouring a drink and entertaining articles about people who visit their bar each week, Death & Co’s cocktail classic will help transform you from an uninformed cocktail consumer into a mixologist extraordinaire.
Featured Image via stephadams.com; A Journey of a Dress, Humans of New York, Monsier Dior: Once Upon A Time, Lanvin: I Love You and The Haute Couture Atelier: The Artisans of Fashion Images via Amazon.com; Death & Co. image via Deathandcobook.com; Vogue & The Metropolitan Museum of Art image via store.metmuseum.org; Tory Burch in Color Image Courtesy of Tory Burch; At the Emperor’s Table Image Courtesy of Assouline; Who We Are Image via MGBWhome.com.