The 101 on Fashion Research/Inspiration

Fashion- to me, has always been more of a powerful art form, rather than just what we put on our bodies. It involves design, depth, architecture, history, movement, and beyond. If there is anything to know about being in fashion, it is that as with any art, comes research.

Finding inspiration can be hard, and I know i've definitely found myself in creative funks. While a simple scroll through Instagram might catch you up, proper research can really give you unique, profound, and well curated outlook in fashion.

Read on for a curated list of books, documentaries, films, magazines, & sites that have given me creative inspiration and motivation for my projects, and have expanded my interest + knowledge when it comes to the vast industry of fashion. whether its learning about different careers, editorials, positions, forecasting, or simply understanding the history of certain trends - these will help you appreciate the art of fashion even further. (I promise none of this is boring- at least not to me.)



1. The September Issue 

Named literally along the plot of the movie, the documentary details the making of American Vogue's 2007 September issue, which in media is usually the most important issue of the year. It's amazing to watch the Vogue team hard at work, and what really goes into the making of such a prominent issue, from castings to photoshoots, editing, etc. My favorite part is Grace Coddington, former creative director, who takes the light with her wit and passion.

 2. Dior & I

This is a peak inside the world of couture, and is my favorite one. It tells the story of Raf Simmon's entrance into the House of Dior and the challenge of creating his first couture collection for the house in just eight weeks. It not only follows along his intense creative process, but the work of his team and the talented seamstresses who help bring his beautiful ideas to the runway,

3. Iris

Iris gives you a glimpse into the 96 year old fashion legend, Iris Apfel's life. She is known for her distinctive looks, cementing a title as one of the most legendary style icons. From the film you take in her brilliant energy and free spirit, and learn that style is truly ageless.




1. Grace: A Memoir

Widely known Vogue creative director, Grace Coddington, with her wonderful wit, gives a glimpse into her world as a former model, to working creatively in one of the biggest fashion publications of our time.

2. Dior by Dior: The Autobiography of Christian Dior

More than just an autobiography, Dior by Dior gives one a detailed look into the haute couture process, all the way from the first sketch to the fittings. It is amazing to read about his life and degree of success, all from his own perspective. 

3. Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

This book is a part call to action, and part historical text that will help one have a better understanding of how to be a "safer" and more sustainable shopper. By reading, one will learn why fast fashion chains are dominating, how it's affecting our environment, why manufacturing is no longer a major U.S industry - and lastly, how it all plays into our daily lives as fashion consumers. 

4. The Women I Wanted To Be

Written by the fierce Diane Von Furstenburg, this book will show you how Diane went from being a princess, to changing the game in fashion, and empowering many women in the process. ( I also recommend binge watching her TV show, House of DVF - especially if you have a knack for reality TV & competition drama.)



1. The Gentlewoman

This magazine happens to be one of my favorites amongst many. It's brilliantly empowering, due to it's pieces on different types of women, whether it be creatives, actresses, directors, entrepreneurs, and even politicians. It's thought provoking and beautifully curated content will leave you inspired, and ready to take on a new project.

2. V Magazine

V holds an colorful, scandalous, and eclectic approach to fashion. They have a very distinctive aesthetic, providing an on trend curated source on everything culture, art, and fashion. Their vibrant covers will stand out at you, along with the content inside ranging in a variety like underground culture, to high art.

3. Wonderland

Wonderland is a magazine that sheds light on new and upcoming talent in all ranges from fashion, music, film, and art. I always fall in love and take in so much inspiration from their editorial shots, they play around well with creative elements and work with some of the industry's best photographers. It has such a clean, yet differentiated approach and every issue leaves me in awe. 

"We entertain, challenge and inform both men and women with editorial and fashion shot by the most in-demand photographers working today – we want to represent the positive and the playful elements of the fashion industry. We’re about inspiring, rather than dictating to our readers."



1. Business of Fashion

The website is literal to it's name - this is where one goes to know every change in the aspect of fashion business. Whether it's about a new sustainable fabric, a creative director leaving, or a certain brand crashing in market, this website is your go to for knowing the business (which is thoroughly important in having an overall understanding of the industry.) click here to read.

2. Vogue Runway

This is basically the closest thing one can get to attending every fashion show possible- straight from the comfort of their home. Part of, Runway is a piece of the website where you will find images of every runway show, organized by designer, location, and season. Media outlets of all kind look to this platform as a source of reference, and you can too. I also have the iPhone app because I use it so often, but you can view the site here

3. Who What Wear

This website, led by a large team of fashion forward editors, writers, and creators, provides daily articles on the newest in fashion. Upon scrolling you'll find event recaps, look-books, stories on the newest designers, and curated slideshows of the latest items to have. That bag you saw on the girl on the subway? One search later and Who What Wear will have an article ready for you to choose the best one fitting to your lifestyle and price-range. be prepared to go on an article reading binge by clicking here.





Yusra Siddiqui