Style Riot. I’m sure this clever name sounds familiar! It’s the brand formulated by local fashion fanatic and freelance wardrobe stylist, Laura Walters. Her work has been featured in the pages of VOLANT, IndyMonthly and PATTERN, and she’s also weaves her style magic on a weekly basis at The Toggery where she is the resident stylist. We connected with Laura to find out what books inspire this established fashionista. Take a look below at what’s on Laura’s must-read book list!
The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion: 250 Years of Design
Edited by Petra Slinkard, Director of Curatorial Affairs Peabody Essex Museum. Contributions by Madelief Hohe, Lan Moran, Paula Richter, Petra Slinkard, and Rachel Syme
A beautiful and poignant book highlighting women in fashion, working in a variety of materials and genres. The book features more than one hundred works – from street fashion, ready to wear, traditional and haute-couture. It is a celebration of women. For their innovation, creativity and impact in the fashion industry. To coincide with this book, the Peabody Essex Museum’s latest exhibition, Made It: The Women Who Revolutionized Fashion is now on display through March 14 2021 and showcases over 100 works spanning 250 years. Definitely worth a trip to Salem, MA!
The New Black Vanguard: Art and Fashion
Photographed by Antwaun Sargent
My friend Julian turned me on to this book and I am forever grateful. The images are incredible, but more importantly, the book addresses the transformation of the Black figure, Black runway and Black cover models taking place in media, fashion and art today.
In the Company of Women
By Grace Bonney
I have loved this book for several years now. It is so inspiring to read about creative women, working in all different artistic mediums, putting their work out into the world. It’s such a wonderful read if you are looking to spark inspiration, find pieces of wisdom and to just learn more about what it means to be a woman in the creative world.
GRACE: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue
By Grace Coddington
Showcasing the incredible, immeasurable, sublime work of famed fashion editor Grace Coddington from 1972 – 2002. This book is so much fun to flip through and gives you a true understanding of the impact Grace has had on fashion and Vogue itself. Anna Wintour is a household name, but Grace is at the foundation of what made Vogue, Vogue. If you’re looking for inspiration from other fabulous fashion editors/ creative directors check out a few of my favorites: Elaine Marie Welteroth, Lucinda Chambers, Shala Monroque, Emmanuelle Alt, Julia Sarr-Jamois, Eva Chen and Carine Roitfeld.
Dining In and Nothing Fancy
By Alison Roman
My first love is fashion, my second is cooking. I absolutely love to cook and entertain. Both relax me and bring me such joy. Alison Roman has written two of my favorite cookbooks that I use time and time again. Not only are her recipes delicious, they are easy, fun, approachable and no nonsense. Roman herself is also fun, approachable, no nonsense and has a wicked sense of humor. I love watching her tutorials on YouTube, in her tiny Brooklyn kitchen. She is a contributor to both Bon Appetit and NYTimes Cooking and definitely one of my favorite leading ladies. Her vibrant red nails and cool, Brooklyn-bohemian style is just icing on the cake.
Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style
I absolutely, positively, love Kelly Wearstler. Not only is her design aesthetic right up my alley, she has quite the style star status. Her love of architecture, shape, volume and design meld beautifully with her signature style. The interiors she creates are like living in a dream filled with mixed prints, patterns, shapes and textures. Everything about her is a tactile experience and one I just can’t get enough of. There is such symmetry between architecture, interior design and fashion. She combines them all beautifully with precision, whimsy, flamboyance and impeccable style.
To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
Everyone has heard of it, most people have read it. For me, this book signifies personal triumphs and bittersweet goodbyes. I was never a very good student. I had a hard time concentrating and didn’t excel in many subjects. This created a lot of insecurities about my intelligence at a young age. I remember being assigned to read this book in 8th grade. After much procrastination, I picked it up and started to read. I fell in love with the characters and found myself relating a great deal to the character Scout. I read the entire book ahead of the scheduled chapters. It felt good to excel in that way and gave me the confidence I needed. My aunt Kim, whom I was very close to, loved this book as well. We used to talk about our shared love of all the characters, especially Atticus Finch. She passed away a few years back, and everytime I catch a glimpse of the book on my bookshelf I think of her and smile.
Magazines: PURPLE / PAPER / THE GENTLEWOMAN / PUSS PUSS /
CR FASHION BOOK / W / i-D / CEREAL / NOON
I am a magazine junkie. I love mainstream fashion magazines like, “W” and “Domino” in particular, but I also collect independent fashion publications and have stacks upon stacks at my home. Regardless of how old they are, I continue to flip through them year after year for inspiration. Because that’s what is so wonderful about fashion, it is a continuous cycle of reinvention. Recycling ideas and transforming them into something new is at the heart of what makes this art form so magical.