If you’re fed up with the grey and the gloom and find yourself longing for a bygone age of fabulous jewels, Hollywood stars, couture clothing and bombshell beauty, then it’s time to have a bubble bath, slip on your silk lounging pyjamas and curl up with our selection of escapist books. Time for a little va-va-voom!
As you’d expect, Taschen’s 100 Contemporary Fashion Designers is a visual feast of fabric and form. The text is well-researched and authoritative without being too arty-farty. You’ll find lesser known gems like Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, and Olivier Theyskens alongside catwalk giants Armani, Westwood and Miuccia Prada, with plenty to inspire you. It could be the start of a lifelong passion or a whole new wardrobe. £12.99 from taschen.com
Jewel, from DK Books, comes wrapped in its own black velvet cover. It’s a treasure trove of lavishly illustrated information about gemstones and jewellery. It’s also a wonderful resource for anyone interested in collecting jewellery or learning more about gems before making a significant purchase. As well as a guide to precious and semi-precious stones from agate to zoisite, you’ll be captivated by some of the stories behind some of the planet’s most fabulous pieces. £25 at DK.com
Strangely, Laura Slatter’s Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty looks pretty unassuming on the outside. Inside however, the pages are packed with fantastic advice from old-school Hollywood stars and make-up artists on understanding your face shape, best features and hair styles, and choosing the colours that work with your complexion. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to experiment with iconic vintage looks, bring out their inner bombshell, or just be immaculately groomed. There are step by step guides to help you recreate vintage looks, or give them a modern twist. You can even find out how to copy Grace Kelly’s chignon, Bardot’s sex kitten look, or Marilyn’s famous pout. Mwah, darlings! Find it for £12.99 from plexusbooks.com