Being huge lovers of print around here, we are constantly examining and discussing new titles to add to our reading lists. From creativity in business to minimalism in fashion, here are some works you’ll find our noses buried in when we’re offline.
Less is more, Minimalism in fashion by Harriet Walker
Sandra: As a passionate advocate of less is more approach, I constantly explore the history of the minimalism movement and Minimalism in fashion by journalist Harriet Walker is one of the most wide-reaching works on the topic. The book takes us through the transformations of minimalist principles in design along the decades – from Coco Chanel, who liberated women from Edwardian formal dress to the avant-garde style of Japanese masters Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, from Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Jil Sander, whose workwear offered women a feminine but credible alternative to power dressing; to contemporary interpretations by Gareth Pugh, Roland Mouret and Celine.
In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
Katja: Grace Bonney is a New-Yorker and well known in creative community as the founder of Design*Sponge, an influential design blog that has morphed over the years into a support network for creative business owners. First on my list is hers eye-opening book In the Company of Women. This is not your usual business advice book. It’s a book that celebrates diversity in the truest sense of the word, the women being of all ages, races, backgrounds, industries, and experience. Bonney adds interviews with women from countries across the globe.
Sandra: I have stopped reading fashion magazines quite some time ago when I realized they have all become so similar – superficial, full of advertisements, promoting same trends and brands. And than I’ve discovered Vestoj in a tiny design bookstore in Berlin. It was quite a gem since Vestoj is totally opposite of what we expect from a fashion mag. It looks more like a book, has no advertising and doesn’t publish fashion shoots. Its content goes beyond trends, and instead takes a cultural, economic and political view of the clothes we wear or as editor-in-chief Anja Aronowsky Cronberg put it: Vestoj is ”how do you do fashion when you feel hardly conflicted about it”.
Katja: My next big love are magazines. There is something about the scent of the freshly printed magazine, coming right from the printing house. At the moment I am trying to keep up the pace with Milk decoration magazine, two down, two more to go, since I never find enough time to read them thoroughly. And while sighing over most interesting interiors and life stories, also discovering how bad my French has become over the years.
Wabi-Sabi, for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren
Sandra: “Wabi-Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.” This charming book explores the Japanese concept of ‘imperfect beauty’ not only as an aesthetic but as a cultural movement, tracing its origins to Zen Buddhism and to the rituals of the tea ceremony. The belief that true beauty comes from imperfection and incompletion is something widely unfamiliar in the Western society and this tiny book is my humble reminder to always seek alternative and creative ways of viewing the reality.
By Sandra Gubenšek and Katja Butala