The best coffee table books are fascinating literary creations — part objet d’art, part photographic ode, part textual reflection — that give insight to the interests of the owners.
Here are our current favourites. Check them out in our waiting area on your next visit.
NADINE IJEWERE: OUR OWN SELVES
This vibrant monograph is the first book dedicated to fashion photographer Nadine Ijewere—the first Black woman photographer to land a cover of Vogue in the magazine’s 125-year history. This book is a celebration of identity and individual human beauty. Dazzling color, dreamlike backgrounds, and a fierce gaze are the hallmarks of Ijewere’s work. But most important to the London photographer is subversion of traditional concepts of beauty. In fashion work, editorials, advertisements, and film stills, Ijewere draws not only on her roots in Nigeria and Jamaica, but also on her own experiences as a young Black girl in East London whose skin color, hair, and body type were nowhere to be found in the pages of magazines.
CHRISTIAN DIOR: OFFICIAL V&A EXHIBITION BOOK
Capturing the highlights of the V&A exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, this stunning volume celebrates the House of Dior from its foundation in 1947 to the present day.
Haute-couture gowns by Christian Dior and the illustrious creative directors who followed him—Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri—are showcased here, atmospherically photographed by Laziz Hamani. Archival material—including design sketches by Christian Dior—and press and fashion photography provide colorful context, amplified by introductory texts to each section by V&A Fashion Curator Oriole Cullen.
THE COMPLETE WORK OF ANTONI GAUDI, A UNIQUE ARCHITECT
Picked up on our travels through Barcelona, his book is a comprehensive look at Gaudi's legacy, analysing in depth the origins, the structure and the significance of his most emblematic projects and delving into the iconography characteristic of an artist that always stood out for his ability to combine functionalism and symbolism. With over 700 images of Gaudi's work, this book is a truly stunning dedication to Antoni Gaudi's works.
WANDERLUST: HIKING ON LEGEGDARY TRAILS
The Narrows Top Down Route, the spectacular El Caminito del Rey in Spain, the fabled Kumano Kodo pilgrimage in Japan, or a mythical hiking path in the land of the giants in Norway – Wanderlust explores legendary hiking trails in enchanting corners of the world and over a variety of terrain: thin ice and desert sands; coastal tracks and forest pathways.
Spectacular photography illustrates journeys to sharp summits, astonishing vistas, and phenomenal locales. With maps featuring noteworthy locations alongside background information and practical tips by Cam Honan, an expert who has hiked many of the trails himself, Wanderlust will suit both intrepid beginners and seasoned trekkers.
From modern-day transcendentalists or those who simply desire a casual break from concrete scenery, Wanderlust allows readers to live vicariously through vivid portraits or use the trips as impetus for their own hiking journey. Following faded footsteps of migrating animals or paths of ancient trade routes, the trails featured in Wanderlust offer both outdoor exploration and enjoyment.