If you know me or if you have been reading me for a while, you already noticed my passion for books. I just love books. I literally eat them. I can spend hours in a bookshop just looking at their covers, going through their pages. So, here is my Back to School reading list for the heart and soul.
As you may know, I have many interests. This Back to School reading list is a synthesis of some of them. And, as I am back in France now, you’ll find a selection of books in French and in English. Shall we start?
Books in English
My selection of books in English is more fashion-oriented.
Always hunting for books to feed my podcast’s researches, I selected the following books. They will be the subject of book reviews episodes for My Fashion Stories Box Podcast. However, you can already have a look at them.
The Dress Detective, a practical guide to object-based research in fashion by Ingrid Mida and Alexandra Kim
I am particularly excited to start reading this book as it gives clues on how to analyse fashion objects and learning more about their usages and multiple uses throughout their lives.
I could have an insight already earlier this year, end of April, when one of the authors, Ingrid Mida, animated an online lecture “Behind the Seams” going along with the exhibition “DRESS. CODE” hosted by the Mode Museum Hasselt.
Reading Fashion in art by Ingrid Mida
Another book from Ingrid Mida I am looking forward to read, re read, analyse and re analyse to be able to decipher and spot the period of time of a painting just by looking at the way people are dressed.
Flipping through the book, I already noticed a checklist to analyse the artwork, the historical context and the artist’s influences. Can’t wait to visit museums and put in practice this checklist! Let me know if you would like to join: "A tour in museums with Catherine Trotin, Analysing art through fashion history". Not bad, right? :D
I learned about these two books through one of the podcasts I regularly listen to dedicated to fashion history, Dressed, The History of Fashion Podcast.
Beginning of August, the two hosts of Dressed, the History of Fashion Podcast, April and Cassidy, had an episode dedicated to Fashion and Fiction (Episode 187: Fashioning Fiction with Author Natasha Lester).
They interviewed Natasha Lester, a lover of fashion history, on how she mixes real fashion events, clothes and so on with fictional characters.
The author does extensive research and visits, prior to writing her books. Thus, for the book “The Paris Seamstress”, she visited the haute couture flower maker Atelier Legeron. And, her book “The Paris Secret” revolves around the discovery of a secret wardrobe of 65 Dior gowns for which she studied the looks of Christian Dior from the New Look after WW2 to the Bar Suit.
Two books which seem great to review your fashion history notions in a fictional set up.
Books in French
The selection for this part will be more heterogeneous and, not being sure if they are available in English, I will put a short summary for each of them. Maybe you would want to learn French to be able to read them ;)
Le Guide de L’entrepreneur durable by Solène Pignet, illustrated by Caroline Gaujour
This book is the collaboration of two friends from Istanbul, Solène and Caroline, and it was the first book on my list I wanted to order after my return to France. Because, it’s important to support entrepreneur friends.
Taking inspiration from permaculture principles and allying her coaching methodology, in this book Solène gives you the tools to create a positive impact on the planet and society as an entrepreneur.
For all conscious and responsible entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to be!
Dans les geôles de Sibérie by Yoann Barbereau
Another book written by someone I happened to work with during my time in Moscow.
Former director of the Alliance Française in Irkoutsk, Siberia, Yoann Barbereau is arrested, tortured and put in jail. This book relates his life and experience inside the Russian goulag and his fight for freedom and justice for a crime he never committed.
Amours Paysannes by Michel Valière
Through the testimony of Adeline Geaudrolet, this book is a tribute to all the women who worked in farms in the French countryside and the, sometimes, miserable life they had just because of their gender.
Because my family is a family of farmers since several generations and that many strong women had to deal with the farm business when the men weren’t there anymore, I decided to put this book on my reading list.
And I just want to translate the author’s dedication for you here:
“To all women,
who lived and worked on their knees,
who ate standing to serve their men,
who stole their food on their forks over their master’s shoulders…
To the women who drunk water while their husbands drunk wine.
To the menstruated women set apart from meat, milk or water.
To the women excluded from churches or stables to have dared giving live to a child.
To tousled women or sleep deprived women.
To all the women, looked down or misunderstood.
To all women, this true story from the County of Galerne, not far from the ocean…
Once upon a time, a woman…”
And a last one, to end on a more positive note…
Un si joli monde by Stéphane Bern
A, not so light, book about the strass and glitter of the high society world of Paris.
Pierre Bonnard, new society journalist of the “Journal” runs to all people and socialite events of the capitale. His ambition is to become one of them until he starts receiving anonymous letters which act as eye openers on the celebrity dark side.
Written by Stéphane Bern, a socialite, historian and celebrities’ friend, this book, under its lightness, makes you think about the power of appearance and celebrity.
Here it is! My Back to School Reading list is here! To read without moderation, should you want to acquire new knowledge or escape reality, inside in a cosy interior with a hot cup of tea or coffee or outside on a terrasse while enjoying the Indian Summer days.
Let me know your thoughts!
And you, what are you going to read this Fall?