Seeing as this man is considered by many to be one of the most important fashion journalists in the world, it was amazing the wonderful Charlie Porter was still willing to share his books with us despite being mid-way through having his flat decorated – what a guy! Perhaps this attitude, along with a healthy dose of purely natural fashion instinct, are what have secured his involvement in some of the most influential fashion bases on earth, including the reputable Fantastic Man and i–D.
Now freelance, Charlie spends his time documenting fashion on his own terms, usually via his magnificent blog on which you’ll find hilarious Rhythmic Gymnastic commentaries nestled comfortably against small, succinct articles about sweaters that make your wallet vibrate.
Without further ado, here are Charlie Porter’s top 5 reads:
Charles M Schulz: You’re A Good Sport Charlie Brown
I got this from the Scholastic Book Club in primary school. Charlie Brown and his friends play some sports, including a fierce motocross race, including a contestant called the Masked Marvel – obviously Snoopy. Charlie Brown and the Masked Marvel crash, but get mixed up. Snoopy is taken to hospital, while Charlie Brown ends up in the dog pound.
My parents found it in their loft a couple of years ago, and asked if I still wanted it. As with most things my parents find of mine in their loft, the answer was yes.
Charles M Schulz: You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown
Anne Hollander: Sex and Suits
Anne Hollander’s book is the best I’ve ever read on menswear. Written in 1994, Anne Hollander’s central premise is that far from being boring, suits are actually the most perfect garment yet designed. Her arguments are serious, and not just the knee-jerk ones of tailoring’s heritage. I don’t wear suits, and don’t know anyone who wears suits – I’m interested in what comes after tailoring in menswear. But I get to that point by understanding what has come before.
Anne Hollander: Sex and Suits: The Evolution of Modern Dress
Clive James: Cultural Amnesia
An extraordinary book of essays on writers, thinkers, artists of the twentieth century. Clive James’s starting point are notes he’s made in the margins of books on particular sentences or passages. The essays have led me to discover many extraordinary writers, especially those struck by the mid-century turmoil of Europe, such as Anna Akhmatova and Witold Gombrowicz. I’ve had it for years and am still reading it, because often an essay makes me go off and read someone else’s work. It’s that rare thing – a book that’s a companion.
Clive James: Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time
Osamu Tezuka: Buddha (books 1 – 8)
Extraordinary graphic-novel-as-biography of Buddha, published in Japan from 1972 to 1983, which is both super-fun and super-inspiring. The cover of the American translation was designed by Chip Kidd, and together the spines of the hardback edition form their own amazing image. My set has had to be replenished a couple of times, as I’ve leant out the first in the series, never to have it returned.
Osamu Tezuka: Buddha (books 1-8)
James Joyce: Ulysses
On third attempt, including one go on Kindle, I’m finally making headway with Ulysses. I’m currently on page 390, and am reading it with the Bloomsday book by my side, which basically tells you everything that’s just happened – it’s an academically-authorised crib sheet. I’ve just checked how many pages are left. The book ends on page 933. 543 pages to go… Eeek…
James Joyce: Ulysses