Louis Vuitton Windows, Assouline, 875 USD
While Barney's and Bergdorf Goodman often dominate the world of exemplary window displays, there's one noted French label that, during the past few years, has quickly found equal footing: Louis Vuitton. Whether you pass by the storefronts in Florence, Moscow's Red Square, New York City, or its flagship on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, there's no denying the magnetic and visionary aesthetics the glisten from the outside of the vitrines. Exclusively designed by the label's Faye McLeod and Ansel Thompson, the storefronts are never duplicated, yet always celebrate the virtues of the Louis Vuitton spirit. This volume includes over 35 displays from stores around the globe. Don't blame us if you find yourself buying a Keepall Bandoulière as a result.
Inside Chefs' Fridges: Europe, Taschen, 49.99 USD
Michelin-starred chefs? They're just like us! Well, maybe not—unless you've developed a penchant for keeping poisonous gyromitre mushrooms or pickled marigold flowers in your refrigerator. Travelling throughout Europe and enlisting 40 well-known and creative chefs to contribute to the project, this book gives readers an exclusive look into the most revealing and inner sanctuary of the chefs in question: the refrigerator. While there are some eyebrow-raising inclusions (the aforementioned mushrooms, for starters), as a whole the book is an inspiring and accessible collection of culinary secrets and recipes that bring the chefs down-to-earth to a domestic reality.
Carlos Betancourt: Imperfect Utopia, Skira Rizzoli, 75 USD.
Don't let the title fool you—there's nothing imperfect about this volume. Since he emerged in the Miami art scene during the 1980s, The Puerto Rican-born Betancourt has consistently churned out eccentric and vivacious (dare we say kaleidoscope-esque?) works of mixed-media art. Included are more than 250 images of Betancourt's vast oeuvre, which heavily focuses on blurring the lines between and experimenting with imagery, fine art, and nature, as well as exploring themes of memory, beauty, identity, and communication. If you like the glitz of Warhol mixed with the sharper aesthetic of Rauschenberg, you'll enjoy his work, and this tome that draws its title from the name of Betancourt's studio, Imperfect Utopia.
Body of Art, Phaidon, 59.95 USD
The concept of the body has always been a recurring motif in art history—perhaps because of its inherently accessible and relatable quality—beginning as early as the Venus of Willendorf in paleolithic times (25,000 B.C.). Serving as an extensive survey of unique and diverse representations of the human body, more than 400 multicultural artists are included and their respective works are thematically organized into 10 sections. Everyone from Picasso and Van Gogh to Abramović and Klein are presented in beautiful and thought-provoking detail, guaranteed to impress art and anatomy lovers alike.
Berlin Metropolis, Prestel, 75 USD
Ask anyone in the art world, and they'll tell you that Berlin is one of the most creative meccas of the modern age. It wasn't always like that, though, so when did it all begin? This beautifully illustrated volume chronicles Berlin's immense growth and development between the two World Wars (from 1918 to 1933), and how it subsequently encouraged the arrival of an onslaught of artists, directors, writers, and critics. What ensued was violent political revolutions and radical aesthetic innovations (to name a few: Dadaism, "Neur Frau," and German Expressionism), that forever changed the city. If you're an enthusiast of Berlin, or even just German culture, this is a must read.
Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style, Yale University Press, 150 USD
If you're looking for something that skews more toward the academic side of things, this fashion volume will perfectly suit your tastes. Before the invention of photography, there was only one way to depict the latest fashion and beauty trends: plates—and no, not dishware. Rather, these "plates" were highly detailed and eye-catching illustrations conveying the current trends and styles for the fashion-conscious elite. One of the first comprehensive surveys of its kind, more than 200 charming fashion plates are featured, ranging in year from the late-18th century to early 20th century. Expect to find fanciful hats, hoops skirts, and corsets.