Like art, books add style, depth and character to any living space. When it comes to collector’s item coffee table books, nothing comes close to hardbound gems produced by Assouline. This holds especially true for those with a penchant for art, design, travel, and world cultures. Not only are Assouline’s books visually compelling, the narratives crafted by the company never fail to transport senses to another place, space and time. And while my personal spaces–both in the city and in the weekend home–are filled with design and art books from various publishing companies, a massive copy of Dior by John Galliano, with its black and red glossy cover, continues to hold a special place of pride.
Coming Soon In Assouline’s The Impossible Collection
A special edition Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection book will soon be launched by Assouline. It’s a collectible made for the style enthusiast whose affections for Paris’ left bank runs eternal. In the book, YSL’s journey in fashion is chronicled by esteemed journalist and Saint Laurent expert Laurence Benaim. Her narrative is accompanied by vibrant images of Yves Saint Laurent’s most iconic designs–the Mondrian shift dress, the black dress from 1967 hit film Belle du Jour, pieces from the Ballets Russes collection, coup de crayon draped gowns and the designer’s enduring tailored pantsuits. In all matters relating to fashion and style, regardless of era or trend, Yves Saint Laurent’s visionary mind will always guide us in our pursuit of beauty. And so will this book.
Assouline Style Series: Art Movements and Design Styles The Define Our World
Also this year, Assouline introduced the Style Series, which highlights the art movements and design styles that shape the world as we know it today. Assouline Founders, Martine and Prosper, share: “We have chosen subjects and movements from the worlds of art, design, fashion, and film based on our own unique styles, tastes, and savoir-faire. We carefully selected images that move and inspire us in the hopes that they will do the same for our readers. Our goal is to bring knowledge and appreciation. Similar to a puzzle– at the end, you understand the spirit of the style.”
The first book from the series is Art Deco Style. It pays homage to the design idiom that fully embodies and encompasses and faces of contemporary culture. Written by independent scholar and former associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jared Goss, Art Deco Style “expressed the multifaceted allure of this global design phenomenon and its perennial appeal.”
Alex Assouline, the company’s Chief of Operations for Brand and Strategy confesses that Art Deco is his favorite. It is very likely, of course, that as each new book is published for the series, a new favorite will be added to his list. He adds, “Within this series, we are pulling inspiration from all of these subjects and turning them into beautiful pages capturing the essence of these iconic movements. The titles are similar with very colorful and recognizable covers. They also draw from the same element of’ ‘style,’ but remain unique in their own right due to the varying subjects.”
Published last May, Orientalism Style transports senses to the Middle East and Asia. The book zooms in on the rich details of the regions–its exotic spices, colorful bazaars, stunning structures, and ethereal garments. Told through the words of French journalist and writer Laurence Benaim (who also wrote Dior by Galliano and Yves Saint Laurent), the 296-page literary piece makes the connection between these distinctive elements and their influence on spheres of decorative arts, fashion, film, travel, and design.
The impact of Orientalism has breathed life to literary works from Byron’s Turkish Tales to Marco Polo’s Book of Marvels. In the world of fashion, works by some of the greats were informed by the mythical, magical and whimsical images conjured by the East. Iconic designs from Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, to Delacroix also drew its dramatic flair and enduring beauty from Orientalism. In exploring style and design through the lens of Orientalism Style, readers will discover that genius reveals itself when we remain open to “seeing, perceiving, sharing emotions and palette of colors, sensations.”
In a few months, the Assouline team reveals that they will unveil the third addition to the Style Series. Pop Art Style. It remains to be seen how the beloved luxury house will present the movement in its unique and vibrant style. This much Alex discloses, “Motivated by the success of our Travel Series, we wanted to invent a new collection focused on art, design, style, and architecture. The creation process is very organic as if combining all of our inspiration in a “cocktail shaker” to deliver the best visual curation on paper. This new series draws on periods that move us most and some exciting upcoming titles include Pop Art, Surrealism, Bauhaus, and more.”