Fashion Week

Best-Dressed Books

With all the designers in Bryant Park this week, it’s not easy to guess whose fashion will stand the test of time. But three influential designers have just been added to the canon as “Designers’ Designers” – artists whose fashion influences others in the industry, and whose clothes will be used to inspire people for generations to come. Or so says The Atlantic Monthly’s Benjamin Schwartz in his review of three new books that add to the shelf of fashion lit. Schwartz calls Geoffrey Beene: An American Fashion Rebel by Kim Hastreiter an “astute book that uses detailed photography to reveal specific qualities of his work, from his use of zippers to the wit that permeates his creations.” And for two newer designers, Michelle Obama’s Midas touch has already proven that they belong to fashion history. Narciso Rodriguez by Rodriguez and Betsy Berne, focuses on the inspiration behind the great designer (he designed the dress Obama wore at Grant Park.) And Rodriguez says the designer he admires most is Isabel Toledo, who designed Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown. In her new book, Isabel Toledo: Fashion From the Inside Out, Valerie Steele and Patricia Mears chronicle the designer’s life – from her days at FIT to her collaborations with her husband Ruben Toledo.