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The Best Books of 2022: Art, Architecture & Fashion

Posted on 20th September 2022 by Mark Skinner

Whether it's exploring the world's greatest cathedrals with Dr Emma J. Wells, scaling the heights of the fashion industry with Edward Enninful or clinging to the wreck of the Medusa with Tom de Freston, let us paint a picture of the most stunning books on art, architecture and fashion published this year. Expertly curated, discover a wealth of visual feasts below. 


 

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A paean to many artists as well as various art forms often overlooked or dismissed, this exciting revisionist history of art turns the limelight on women artists' creativity and the way it has shaped and enriched our world.
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From the Terracotta Army to Frida Kahlo to Ai Weiwei, Mullins’ brilliantly digestible volume presents leading artists and practices from the last 100,000 years in captivating prose.
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Exploring a rich cast of varied and visionary artmakers from the late-nineteenth century to the present day, This Is Tomorrow reflects on the historic moments that propelled major shifts, rhythms and adaptations in the world of art across ‘the long twentieth century.’
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Perfect for fans of Olivia Laing, le Brun’s beautiful book blends cultural history, art and philosophical reflection to deliver a thrilling, accessible portrait of twentieth-century Britain through ten artworks created between 1912 and 2015.
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Mining a hugely versatile era in British art, Spalding’s delightfully nuanced volume investigates the nation’s aesthetics and cultural output in the 1920s and 1930s, shaped by the endless interplay between the emphasis on the 'real' or authentic and romantic sensibilities.
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Covering the lives and works of 34 key British surrealist painters, Morris' hugely informative and entertaining volume mixes colourful biography with insightful artistic analysis from one of the last remaining practitioners of the movement.
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Boasting all the sumptuous illustrations of the original 1950 edition and a wealth of new, exciting photographic material, this beautiful volume brings to life the extraordinary rescue mission to save Europe’s greatest artworks from Hitler’s grasp.
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Contrasting the flawless sculptures of antiquity with the complex reality of human bodies in the Ancient World, Vout's eye-opening analysis of everyday life and death in Greece and Rome is a uniquely fascinating blend of art and social history.
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From da Vinci to Picasso, the artist's muse has become a romanticised cornerstone of Western art, and in this fascinating history Millington uncovers the stories of some of the most iconic muses to present a narrative that is far from the established conception of passive, powerless model.
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Spanning Paris, the Côte d’Azur, North Africa, London and New York and boasting glorious illustrations, Parisian artist and designer Pierre Le-Tan’s delightful volume explores a group of exciting, often eccentric art collectors.
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From Jeff Koons to Marina Abramovic, the celebrated critic casts a brilliantly entertaining eye over the artistic developments of the twenty-first century so far and how artists have responded to a succession of global crises.
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Ranging widely across cultural forms, Falcinelli traces the history of colour throughout art in this fascinating and vibrant exploration of light, shade, pigments and pixels.
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The acclaimed artist and illustrator of Waterstones Children's Gift of the Year Julia and the Shark recounts his fascination with Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa, translating the painting's themes of suffering and trauma to both his own troubled family history and the struggles of his blind Syrian collaborator.
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The fourth volume in Richardson’s definitive biography charts the period during which Picasso was contributing to André Breton's Minotaur magazine, mingling with the likes of Salvador Dali and Lee Miller and producing one of his most famed works, Guernica.
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A titan of British landscape painting yet little known as a man, John Constable is brought to pulsating life in Hamilton's monumental biography which draws from copious correspondence both from and to the nineteenth-century artist.
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An extraordinary insight into the contemporary art world just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bacon in Moscow is an endlessly entertaining personal memoir of British curator James Birch and his endeavour to exhibit the works of a western cultural icon in Russia during the time of Glasnost.
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Chronicling the incandescent career of the unparalleled Renaissance master, Ekserdijan's sumptuous book on Raphael is both a true visual feast and a breathtaking work of art scholarship.
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The maverick genius of 1980s American art captured here through a wide range of rarely seen works and a plethora of recollections, alongside incisive commentary on Basquiat's immense cultural impact.
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A dazzlingly original volume that examines the seminal artist Frida Kahlo from a fashion perspective, Frida: Style Icon covers everything from traditional Tehuana dresses to embroidered huipiles in a gloriously evocative depiction of a towering cultural figure.
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This entrancing volume celebrates the iconic French artist through his magnificent sketches and paper drawings, also providing fascinating contextual information regarding Matisse's biography and artistic progression.
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An exquisite little volume full of lesser-known images from the legendary Dutch painter and interspersed with van Gogh's inspiring words on the natural world, The Healing Power of Nature is a mindful, handsomely presented reminder of the beauty of the great outdoors.
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Celebrating the long career of one of Britain’s most iconic and best-loved artist-illustrators, The Quentin Blake Book offers luminous insights into his famous creations, collaborations and artistic process.
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One of the most celebrated - and rarest - British illustrated books of the early twentieth century, High Street combines the stunning lithographic art of Eric Ravilious with eloquent architectural commentary from J. M. Richards to create an exquisite time capsule of a simpler prewar nation.
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From his own stellar career to reflections on the great masters, Guston's eloquent writing on art ranges across iconography, metaphysics and mysticism.
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Adorned with stunning images from ancient to contemporary art from across the world and accompanied by insightful short essays, this wonderful volume from The School of Life is a love letter to visual art’s capacity to console, inspire and generate hope.
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Making uplifting and inspiring connections between art and mental wellbeing, Hodge's sensitive and intelligent volume highlights both the emotional lives of great artists as well as practical techniques on how to transform your own life through aesthetic appreciation.
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Stunningly illustrated and endlessly illuminative, Wells’ authoritative yet accessible volume on the golden age of the cathedral leads the reader on a fascinating journey through 1000 years of striking ecclesiastical architecture.
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From luxury riverside flats to windfarms, the author of Concretopia takes the reader on an unforgettable tour of the landmark buildings of modern Britain, mining the architectural ambitions of postmodernist exuberance through engaging social history.
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Sumptuously produced and fully illustrated, this extensive visual guide to spaces shared and reappropriated by LGBTQIA+ communities across the globe is a vivid, inspiring and revelatory celebration of identity and belonging.
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From trailblazing pioneers like Marion Mahony Griffin to modern-day titans such as Jeanne Gang, this definitive history of the great female architects is blessed with a bevy of terrific images and perceptive text that sets the record straight about women's achievements in architecture.
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From Aberystwyth to Shetland, Hatherley provides a compelling analysis of modernist architecture in Britain, exploring its vexed legacy a century on from its controversial inception.
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An immersive exploration of the diverse and enthralling architecture of Chelsea, Cruickshank's beautiful volume traces the rich history of the London district through twelve chapters of fascinating text and image.
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Removing the stress and frustration of housework and domestic chores through revelatory new methods, How to Keep House While Drowning is an essential guide to a clean house and a healthy mind.
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The popular TikTok influencer provides a fun and accessible guide to organising your living space according to the principle of feng shui, ensuring your rooms are perfectly arranged for whatever you want to achieve.
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The Great British Bake Off winner and author of Clean and Green provides a host of handy hacks to help save time, money and the planet itself in this accessible and informative guide to green living.
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Through the breathtaking homes of fifteen of the world's premier creatives, The Life Eclectic demonstrates how to effectively curate a jumble of possessions into an original and singular interior design vision.
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The groundbreaking first Black editor of British Vogue tells his story from working-class outsider to the apex of the fashion industry and how he has always championed inclusion and representation in the worlds of design and photography.

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Written by a journalist who knew Lagerfeld well, this enlightening biography addresses the multiple personas that the iconic fashion designer constructed for himself over the course of his life and career, from ruthless workaholic to urbane aesthete.

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Capturing the style icon that is Harry Styles in all his sartorial splendour, this lavish volume combines eye-catching imagery with fascinating facts about the star's fashion choices and his place in the history of rock star chic.
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From the Instagram style guru and personal stylist comes an inspiring and comforting guide to building confidence and self-esteem through the contents of your wardrobe.
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Both panoramic in scope and generous in detail, Thanhauser’s beautifully crafted and provocative history of clothing examines the question of how what we wear has shaped who we are through the centuries, unveiling one eye-opening revelation after another.
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The Olympic diving champion crafts a wonderfully accessible guide to knitting that collects forty of his favourite projects from homeware to accessories to wardrobe essentials.
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Taking a painterly approach to embroidery, Ferris explores the richly rewarding and truly beautiful world of needlepainting in this exquisite volume of designs crafted from a single strand of thread and one simple stitch.
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A beautifully presented guide to growing and designing with seasonal flowers, Proust's invaluable and fun volume opens up the secrets of floristry for everyone to enjoy.
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From Oxford Bag trousers to dance dresses and much more, this essential volume from the team behind the hit TV show The Great British Sewing Bee spotlights 28 projects that are fun and accessible to create.
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Covering over three centuries of stunning jewellery in a fully illustrated, pithily chronicled volume, The Modern Guide to Antique Jewellery is the definitive work in this glittering field.
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An indispensable guide to making good choices on your own bargain hunt, this delightfully informative volume on identifying quality across a range of antiques is filled with tips from the experts of the BBC's hit show.
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Boasting iconic images from world-renowned photographers from Cecil Beaton to David Bailey and Lord Snowdon to Annie Leibovitz, this sumptuous volume is the definitive visual chronicle of Queen Elizabeth II's seventy-year reign.
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A stunning visual journey through Elizabeth II’s reign and life, this volume from the National Portrait Gallery celebrates the iconic monarch through photographs and paintings by key artists from Cecil Beaton to Andy Warhol.
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Combining the formidable talents of poet Roger Robinson and photographer Johny Pitts, Home is Not a Place documents the contemporary Black experience throughout Britain, shining a light on communities and sub-cultures that have been obscured or neglected from the accepted narrative.
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Boasting all one hundred entries in the 2022 competition, this stunning volume of wildlife images captures incredible animal moments and astonishing natural environments.
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Drawing on a wealth of stunning colourised photographs that bring the multiplicity of London's colours to vibrant life, this wholly original history of the capital from the author of London: The Biography is a visual feast for the senses.
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Ranging from self-portraits to political photo collages, this utterly immersive dive into postwar social and cultural British history features giants of reportage photography from Don McCullin, Lee Miller, Cold War Steve and more.
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Atmospheric and impressionistic, the images of mid-twentieth-century New York gathered together in this authoritative retrospective of Leiter's career reveal a sublimely gifted photographer way ahead of his time.
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