SUMMER READS 2014: Swoon-worthy looks at art, fashion and style

If spring is the season of rebirth, then summer is the time to sit back and enjoy the beauty around you. Whether it’s art, fashion, or just the lovely sound your ice makes when it clinks in the glass, this is the season for appreciating the little things. So why not invest in some quality books filled with beautiful art? Thankfully there are plenty of truly unique style, art and design books coming out this summer. Here are a few of the best:

The Wedding Dress CoverThe Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions by Edwina Ehrman (V&A Publishing, June 24)

 There are few articles of clothing as iconic as the wedding dress, and this book traces its origins – from the 1700s, to the rise in popularity in the Victorian era, to the ever-changing modern gown. Filled with photos from the Victoria and Albert Museum collection, this is a unique take on a tradition that might be more complex than we think. Plus there are so many pretty dresses to look at! Informative and lovely.

Andrew WyethAndrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In by Nancy Anderson (author), Charles Brock (author), Andrew Wyeth (artist), (National Gallery of Art, Washington/D.A.P., May 31)

Andrew Wyeth is arguably most famous for his painting, “Christina’s World,” where a young woman lies in a field, her arm stretched toward a distant farmhouse. But he also painted windows, a motif he returned to again and again over the course of his career. This book pairs images of Wyeth’s window-themed paintings with analysis of why he may have been drawn to this sparse, sometimes bleak subject matter. It offers a new look at an iconic painter, and is a must-read for any abstract art lover.

Vintage Trailer Style CoverVintage Trailer Style: Buying, Restoring, Decorating & Styling the Small Place of Your Dreams by Lisa Mora (David & Charles, May 22)

 Is there anything cooler than a super retro trailer? Just imagine a grill out front, a pink plastic flamingo stuck in the yard, and polka-dotted curtains wafting in the breeze. Vintage Trailer Style showcases some amazing vintage trailers, from classic silver-bullet Airstreams to adorable pastel campers. Learn tips on how to restore and decorate your own retro trailer – or even how to add vintage touches to your apartment. Before you know it you’ll be wearing 1950s swing-dresses and saving up for the perfect trailer of your own.

Manhattan Classic CoverManhattan Classic: New York’s Finest Prewar Apartments by Geoffrey Lynch, (Princeton Architectural Press, May 13)

 Get ready to feast your eyes on amazingly over-the-top apartments that you’ll probably never be able to afford in this lifetime. Seriously, this book may as well be called, “224 Pages of Extreme Jealousy.” But at least now you can enjoy the beauty, reveling in the Central Park views, the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the perfectly arched doorways. The photos are lovely, the style impeccable, and owning this book is almost as good as living in one of these “private mansions in the sky.” Well, not quite, but it’s still pretty nice.

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