A Fashion Book Collection & Prada Marfa, A “Shop” in the Middle of the Desert

Welcome to the 661st Metamorphosis Monday!

It’s always dangerous when I start a new project. Usually, I start out thinking that it’s going to be a gradual process, something I’ll be working on for a while. Then before I know it, I want to see it completed. Right now! Once I get a vision in my head, I can’t seem to put the brakes on or slow down. Anyone else have that problem when starting a project?

Recently I shared an Ikea Hemnes bookcase I had just assembled and added to the room where I store my smallish collection of handbags. I wanted this bookshelf for the sole purpose of storing fashion-related books. I’ve had so much fun the last couple of weeks adding to my existing collection of fashion-themed books and playing around with how to display them in this bookcase. So far the Hemnes seems to be holding up well under the weight of the books without any bowing or sagging, unlike my Billy Bookcases in my office. So happy the Hemnes is living up to its reputation of being much sturdier!

Styling Bookshelf with Fashion Books, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel


Here’s how I’m filling the bookcase so far: The top shelf is filled with books I’ve had for a few years, including one I received as a gift from my daughter-in-law this past Christmas.

Fave Fashion Books, Hermes Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Ralph Lauren


If you are a handbag lover and you’re looking for a light-hearted read, I can definitely recommend the book, Bringing Home the Birkin. It had me laughing out loud in several places and I had a hard time putting it down. I wish they would make a movie about it–I think it would do well and be hilarious especially with all the buzz going on around the Hermes Birkin bag these days. (Book is available here: Bringing Home the Birkin.)


Paris Hotel Stories is another book I already had prior to purchasing the bookcase. I removed the cover from my copy since I purchased it “used” and the cover was a bit tattered. You can read more about this book here: Paris Hotel Stories.

The little bag sitting on top is a Mary Frances bag. Are you familiar with her bags? I used to drool over them whenever I walked through the Neiman Marcus in Atlanta but most were a bit too fanciful for my lifestyle. One day I came across this one at Mary Frances online and knew I had finally found my bag.

Adorable Mary Frances Bag


I’ve used this bag many times for evenings out with friends and it’s perfect for that. I love all the little details, including the little twist opening with the diamond-like crystals.

Mary Frances Bag Details


The inside is truly a Mary Poppins bag! It opens up a lot wider than this photo shows–I just couldn’t open it and take the photo at the same time. It’s amazing how much it will hold! Mary Poppins bags are always very deceiving. lol

Inside Mary Frances Bag


Since this little bag tends to get lost in my handbag cabinet, I thought it looked pretty displayed here on the bookshelf. On the shelf below you’ll see a photograph I just purchased.

Fave Fashion Books, Hermes Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Ralph Lauren


Have you ever heard of Prada Marfa? Prada Marfa is a permanent “sculptural art installation” that was created in the middle of the desert in Marfa, Texas back in 2005. It’s supposed to resemble a Prada store. Can you just imagine zooming down the highway through the desert with nothing else around for miles and suddenly there’s a Prada Boutique?! Ha! I love the pure silliness of that!

Unfortunately, vandals graffitied the outside of the building and stole all the bags and shoes the very first night after the installation was unveiled. The thieves got away with six handbags and 14 right-footed shoes. What do you do with 14 right-footed shoes? The sculpture/building was repaired immediately and seems like I remember reading that they cut the bottoms out of all the handbags they put back inside the building to deter any future thefts. I think they also glued everything down.

Prada Marfa Photo


Prada Marfa has become quite the tourist attraction with people stopping by to have a photo taken in front of the building. You’ll find several articles and videos about it online and on YouTube. I’ve always wanted to visit to see it in person. Doubt I’ll ever make it there but I thought it would be fun to have a photo of the installation for my fashion bookshelf. Have you ever visited Prada Marfa or the town of Marfa?

After a lot of searching online, this was my favorite photo of Prada Marfa. I love how it looks lit up in the evening. It was available in several sizes and I went with the 5 x 7-inch size so it would easily fit on one of the shelves. I really love the canvas-like surface the photo was printed on. Excuse the shadow across the right corner, that’s not actually on the photo. (Photo was purchased here: Prada Marfa.)

Prada Marfa Photo


Next, I went in search of whimsical “bookends” for this bookshelf and couldn’t find anything that was fashion-themed. I searched online to see if perhaps someone had created a high heel shoe bookend. I didn’t find any that I liked but I did come across this adorable Cinderella glass slipper. The Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella was one of my most favorite movies growing up–it and The Wizard of Oz.

Megan Hess Books, Cinderella's Glass Slipper


I love the whimsy (and the fond memories) this glass slipper adds to the shelves. If you need a Cinderella glass slipper in your life, you’ll find it available here: Cinderella’s Glass Slipper. It’s also available in other colors here: Cinderella’s Glass Slipper.

The books on display beside and under the slipper are all by the author/illustrator, Megan Hess. I absolutely love her fashion drawings! I would love to be able to draw like Megan–her fashion illustrations are so elegant and whimsical! Check out her books and read the wonderful reviews here: Coco Chanel / Iconic / Paris / Elegance / New York / The Dress.

Megan Hess Books, Cinderella's Glass Slipper


Moving on down the bookcase, you’ll find the following books in this collection: Louis Vuitton / Ralph Lauren 50 Years: Revised and Expanded Anniversary EditionRalph Lauren: In His Own FashionDior and His DecoratorsChanelThe Hermes Scarf / Louis Vuitton City Bags. (Click any book’s name to read more about that particular book.)

I already owned several of these titles and can very much recommend them if you are a fan of any of these designers and would love to read more about their history and designs. Lots of eye candy in all of these!

Favorite Books on Fashion


On the next shelf, you’ll find the following books on the left: The Handbag / Handbags: The Making of a Museum / The Secret History of the Handbag.  The white, skinny books are all by Megan Hess. I think they were originally written as children’s books but they seem more appropriate for handbag, fashion-loving grown-ups to me–kinda like luxury-fashion, fairytale books. Again, the illustrations are wonderful! These books can all be found here: Claris Books by Megan Hess.

Favorite Books on Fashion


The pink Champagne Please bell was purchased here a few years back: Champagne Please! Not sure if it’s still available.


On the right side of this shelf, you’ll find my collection of “Catwalk” books. These are a must-have for anyone who is a fan of one of these fashion houses. I love all of these and I’m looking forward to the release of the Versace Catwalk book in November. I will continue to collect these as long as they are being made. They are eye-candy from the first page to the last!

You’ll find all the Catwalk books available here: Catwalk BooksLouis Vuitton / Yves Saint Laurent / Chanel / Prada / Dior / Vivienne Westwood. The Versace is available for pre-order here: Versace.

Favorite Fashion and Catwalk Books


In the middle of the shelf, I displayed the pretty Dear Paris, The Paris Letters Collection book I recently shared in this post: A New Bookcase (and Bookcase Picture Light) for the Guest Room. You’ll find this beautiful book here: Dear Paris.

Dear Paris The Paris Letter Collection


I just noticed that I never took photos of the next to the bottom shelf where I have my very small collection of books about Tiffany & Co. I will take a photo of that shelf and add it to this post later today.

Update: If you love Tiffany & Co jewelry, you’ll enjoy these books. Actually, Tiffany offers a lot of other great products, too–like their pens and leather bags, too. Their leather is sooo luxurious, incredibly soft. I have one of their totes and it’s a favorite of mine to use at home and when I travel.

Tiffany Books, Designer Library


I never realized how much joy this little bookshelf would bring, but I have so enjoyed the process of hunting down the best books about my favorite fashion houses. There are still 2-3 books I hope to add to this collection in the future, but they can wait for now since the shelves don’t feel quite so empty as they initially did.

After the stressful period we’ve all lived through the last couple of years, this little project has really lifted my spirits. It has been so nice to focus on something fanciful and beautiful for a bit. Books are such a wonderful way to escape for a few minutes each day. Just give me a few books and some puzzles and I’m happy! A great handbag always works, too! 😉

Styling Bookshelf with Fashion Books, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel


Do you have a favorite fashion house? Have a great fashion book you would like to recommend?

Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Your fashion bookcase looks so pretty Susan, it’s like a mini fashion museum! Thanks for the Monday fun…

  2. Sad story, but yes it would be hilarious to be driving in the middle of nowhere and see that “store.”

    I LOVE the purse, just beautiful.


  3. Great photos, ideas and I love that you included links! To keep bookcase shelves from sagging, I turn them over once a year.

    • Thanks, Hetty! Glad you found those helpful. I wish I could turn the ones in my office over. They hook in, in such a way that you can’t do that. So crazy they made bookshelves that can handle hardback books. They would be fine if a library was all paperback.

  4. When I worked in Sint Maarten we had a guest who stayed for the month of January. She was the vendeuse for the designer, Adolfo who was a fave of Nancy Reagan. She always arrived from NYC with a big tote bag loaded with tins of the best caviar and spent the month drinking champagne, eating caviar and slathering on Monoi oil. The ‘80’s & ‘90’s now seem like a different world.

    Do love that adorable purse. Had never heard of that brand before. The shelves are wonderful.

    • Ginger, I love that picture you just painted…what a hoot! Yes, it feels like a million years ago…the world is so different now. Thanks, Ginger! It was fun playing with them…I’m sure I’ll keep doing that as I add a few more books over the years.

  5. I love the handbag. One of my favorites.

  6. Everything looks so pretty…and I love the glass slipper !!!

    • Thanks, Ann! I love that, too! I may just have to watch Cinderella this weekend and escape the world for a bit.

      • Susan – Have you watched the new Cinderella on Prime ? It is a different slant to the story with modern songs and story line. I loved it !

        • No, but I think I saw the advertisement for it. I’m almost afraid to watch it, since I love the other version so much. I should come out of my comfort zone though and give it a try. I love the songs so much from the old version! They are all so romantic!

  7. You do such a great job on whatever you set your mind to. It’s a beautiful collection. I love the Mary Frances bag!! Thanks for sharing your love of fashion.

  8. Susan, I like handbags yet have never been a big collector but I love, love, love your Mary Francis bag! It is luscious!
    Now that I have two grandchildren living in Texas I thought I might get to see Prada Marta but not so sure now. It’s way over on the west side, about 400 miles from Austin.
    The things you find are so much fun:)

    • Thanks, Mary Lou! Yeah, I think it’s a bit out of the way. I just had friends from Texas visiting this past week and they said that Texas is HUGE and driving just across Texas is like crossing multiple states. lol I think she said it can take more than a day to just cross the state.

  9. You have this bookcase arrange so nicely with all your lovely books and such Susan! I love how it looks!! I also love that glass slipper, yep, those two movies were my favorites as a child as well. The glass slipper makes a fabulous book end, so pretty, yet blends in without standing out, but definitely noticeable. I’m so glad this little project brought you lots of joy, I can see why it did! Hugs, Brenda

  10. Tina W Reynolds says
  11. Brenda Playfair says

    For your Tiffany shelf, you must read the delightful
    Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart. Summer 1945 , two Iowa college coeds seek employment in NYC and become the first females on the sales floor, complete with Tiffany blue shirtwaist dresses from Bonwit Teller… Fun,fun… I think of this book every Christmas when my daughters & I make our annual trip to NYC and a stop at Tiffanys is always relished.

    • I think I purchased that on Audible one year and loved it! Brenda, you may be the one who first told me about it…someone did a few years back. I should buy a copy for my Tiffany shelf. 🙂

  12. LOVE your Mary Francis purse.. I have a few of her bags and just love all the unique details… the beaded strap on one of my MF bags broke at a wedding I attended and beads went “bouncing” all over the reception floor… it was so funny to see everyone crawling around on hand & knees trying to help me gather up the beads…

    • Oh my gosh, that is too funny! She puts a lot of beads on her bags so I can imagine this! I hope you were able to get it repaired. Thanks for that story, Bonnie! 🙂

  13. Thanks again for hosting this lovely party every week! I know how much time and effort goes into doing so and I want you to know that it is greatly appreciated!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  14. I have to second your recommendation of the book Bringing Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello…such a fun little book! I enjoyed it so much I looked for other books he may have written, but couldn’t find any. Regarding Marfa….that is interesting! I recently became aware of Marfa, Tx by virtue of lyrics that reference Marfa lights in the song In His Arms by Jack Ingram, Jon Randall & Miranda Lambert. When I heard the song I thought ‘what in the world are Marfa lights’? A little research led me to discover that Marfa, Tx is a small desert town in West Texas (population about 1500), known for its arts community and odd lights in the sky….known as Marfa Lights or ghost lights. There’s a viewing platform outside of town to view the lights. They recently had their 34th annual Marfa Lights Festival. Undoubtedly the Prada “store” is a nod to the town’s artistic leanings. So interesting! The things you learn!!

    • I did the same thing, Maureen! I loved his writing style and was so hoping he had written more books. That’s so interesting about the Marfa Lights…I hadn’t heard about those! I wonder what causes them or if they are man-made…that is so interesting! Thanks for sharing about that!

  15. Your purse and library collection are filling out so nicely! I can’t wait to get moved and bring my purses out again! I will definitely have space to maximize, as we got rid of SO much with the downsize. I’ve never really used my curios to their potential here at the condo, so I’ll make that a project sometime after the move.

  16. Cyndi Raines says

    Well done Susan. Projects are usually fun and how wonderful that it is bringing such pleasure for you! I like taking joy in the simple things!

  17. I love the glass slipper! So pretty. Imagine a handbag version! And that is the perfect place for your pretty little Mary Frances bag. I also like the artful way you stacked the little Hermes boxes. Very pretty.

    Funny how the ‘little things’ can delight us so much. So happy to know you’ve been enjoying this shelf of pretty things.

  18. Love all the fashion inspired touches you added to your bookcase! They’re fantastic. As always, thanks so much for hosting and for the book recs too. Hugs, CoCo

  19. franki Parde says

    Your “bookshelf”…that “hardly describes” what you have created…omg…it is enchanting!!! That “glass slipper”…genius!!! WELL DONE!!!! franki

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