Press / Bert Houbrachts

This piece appears as part of “Not In Paris,” an online exhibition hosted and curated by Highsnobiety. Head here to see the full series.

Fashion is better understood with context. Subsequently, for this slot in our “Not In Paris” exhibition, we present a selection of literature from online bookstore RareBooksParis, curated to supplement one’s understanding of the historical and cultural significance of some of the world’s most innovative brands and designers.

The following list include extremely rare editions of a Maison Margiela tome (bound in the designer’s preferred white and deconstructed aesthetic) and a piece of the UNDERCOVER history, documenting Jun Takahashi’s journey from Tokyo to Paris Fashion Week in the early 2000s.

Explore the curation of rare books below and check out RareBooksParis for purchase.

Press / Walter Pfeiffer

1. WALTER PFEIFFER

This re-edition of the original cult book from Swiss artist Walter Pfeiffer is comprised entirely of images, whereby his notable influence on contemporary visionaries such as Juergen Teller becomes apparent.

Kerber Verlag

2. NOT IN FASHION

Not in Fashion. Fashion and Photography in the 90s details the rise of counter-cultural image-making in fashion with a focus on the uprising of “anti-fashion” photography, including some of the 21st century’s most rebellious tastemakers, such as Vanessa Beecroft, Comme des Garçons, Corinne Day, Jason Evans, Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, M / M (Paris), Cris Moor, Kostas Murkudis, Collier Schorr, Nigel Shafran, Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Yohji Yamamoto.

Press / Will Benedict

3. WILL BENEDICT

Corruption Feeds was first published to coincide with photographer Will Benedict’s exhibition in Norway in 2014. The book features a complex compilation of visuals, from the same artist behind some of Balencaiga’s zeitgeist-shifting campaigns, like this one about the end of the world.

Maison Martin Margiela / Maison Martin Margiela

4. HORS NORMES

Another gem for the Maison Margiela fandom. This catalogue details items from a highly publicized sale of rare Margiela items from an anonymous collector, which took place in Paris. Only 200 made.

Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm / Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm

5. ANITA

Anita and 124 Other Portraits documents a decade’s worth of work from Dutch photographers Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm (@blommersschumm), designed by Jop van Bennekom.

Press / Yoshi Tominaga

6. THE SHEPHERD

The Shepherd is a piece of UNDERCOVER history. This publication details the journey of Jun Takahashi’s brand from Tokyo to Paris during 2002-2006, making it a BTS manifesto for one of the world’s most iconic niche labels.

Press / Bert Houbrachts

7. BELGIAN FASHION DESIGN

This 1999 tome extensively details the work of “The Antwerp 6” — the elite cluster of fashion designers that found success during the late ’70s, including Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee, Dirk Van Saene, Ann Demeulemeester, and Dries Van Noten, as well as honorary members Raf Simons and Martin Margiela.

Maison Martin Margiela / Maison Martin Margiela

8. LA MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA: (9/4/1615)

A must-have for Martin Margiela stans. The design of the book echoes Margiela’s own highly idiosyncratic aesthetic ideas, including his obsession with the color white and the use of unfinished materials. This original Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen book from 1997 arrives covered in plain white boards with frayed edges, and details the biological process in which clothes were degraded during the exhibition.

Synthetic Voices / Mark Borthwick

9. SYNTHETIC VOICES

Synthetic Voices contains photo-diary entries from British-born photographer Mark Borthwick, who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. The photographer’s style includes minimalist yet romantic images that often feature a blown-out color saturation.

Are you also “Not In Paris?” Not to worry, you too can join in on the non-gathering with our exclusive set of merch. Shop the collection here.

Words by Max Grobe
Associate Fashion Editor