Book List of the Week

Memoirs, Magic, and Murder Mysteries: Stephen Burrows’s Book List

By Steve Kroeter May 24, 2011
Stephen Burrows

Fashion designer Stephen Burrows: Stephen Burrows (New York)

book list

In the special and celebrated world of fashion designers who are recognized with a star on New York’s Fashion Walk of Fame, Stephen Burrows is known for his adventurous application of color, his creative approach to structure, and the innovative and surprising ways he details his fabrics. The titles he includes on his book list for Designers & Books show a dramatic dedication to fashion and also someone with a keen and consuming interest in all of life’s mysteries and magic.

On the fashion side of his list is A.L.T., the acclaimed memoir of style icon André Leon Talley. Burrows also cites Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about devotion to footwear, The Red Shoes (“the sickness of the shoes fascinates me”).

With the comment “everyone needs some magic and wizardry in their life,” Burrows describes why he includes the entire Harry Potter series. And appealing to his love of a good story—especially murder mysteries—on his list are books by Agatha Christie and Dashiell Hammett.

Strong visuals are common to many of the Burrows’s selections, whether it’s the lighting in Gordon Parks’s book of photographs Bare Witness, or the complete graphic design package (“the layout, the fonts, the colors …”) found in French design personality Jean-Paul Goude’s autobiography.

Beyond the books on his list, we asked Burrows, “Of all the fashion monographs you’ve seen, which has made the biggest impression on you?” His answer: Yves Saint Laurent by Florence Müller and Farid Chenoune.

And what’s next on his “to read” list? How To Be a Man: A Guide to Style and Behavior for the Modern Gentleman by Glenn O'Brien, author of “The Style Guy” column in GQ magazine.

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