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Isabella Burley’s Bookshelf

Work / Bookshelf

The top five books of Dazed and Confused Editor, Isabella Burley

Want to know a surprising secret about self-proclaimed “book obsessive” and Dazed & Confused editor Isabella Burley? She can’t stand big coffee-table-sized fashion books. “I’ve always taken my references from art, pop culture, photography and sex zines rather than fashion,” she told us. “That’s really come to shape the way I approach our fashion content within Dazed.”

At the tail-end of London Fashion Week, we wanted to hear about the publications that have moulded Isabella’s rise to editor-status at arguably one of the most lauded, sensational and historic fashion magazines in the UK. Like most Bookshelf contributors, Isabella struggled to whittle down her collection to five treasured nuggets. The ones she has selected are perfect, and give you a crystal clear idea of how passionate, different and creatively alert she is. Now where can we get our hands on that Larry Clark book…

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Larry Clark

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Larry Clark

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Larry Clark

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Larry Clark

Larry Clark

This has to be the best cover in the world, right? I also love that it comes packaged like a vinyl with a wipe-clean plastic slip and accompanied by two large posters. I was lucky enough to interview Larry Clark for Dazed a few months ago. It was just after I’d spent three hours and all my money at his snapshot sale at the Simon Lee Gallery. He was everything I’ve hoped for, which usually doesn’t happen when you interview your hero.

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Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes

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Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes

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Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes

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Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes

Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes

I’d been looking for this book for about two years before I spotted it in the window of a bookshop in New York. It’s like the Holy Bible of youth subcultures. I’m obsessed with everything in it – from Chris Cunningham’s 1999 Mental Wealth PlayStation commercial to Nigel Shafran’s Teenage Precinct Shoppers series. Not to mention that Raf Simons edited it and Peter De Potter was one of the image research coordinators.

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Richard Prince: Lynn Valley

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Richard Prince: Lynn Valley

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Richard Prince: Lynn Valley

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Richard Prince: Lynn Valley

Richard Prince: Lynn Valley

I found this at the bookshop at LACMA in LA. I love his Girlfriends series – all of these amazing girls sprawled over motorbikes. He shot women that he found in cult biker magazines – they were often submission images sent in by their boyfriends (hence the name) – and tried to recreate some of the editorials.

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Christiane Meyer-Stoll: Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin

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Christiane Meyer-Stoll: Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin

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Christiane Meyer-Stoll: Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin

Christiane Meyer-Stoll: Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin

I bought this book when I was 18 and it’s still one of my favourites. It’s so great to see the work of all three photographers together. It contains two of my favourite Araki images taken from his 1994 Untitled (Obscenities) series of a girl lying on blue bedsheets. He scratched into the film to create these amazing white lines that obscure the images. Araki at his best!

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John Baldessari and Goya: Ich habe es gesehen

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John Baldessari and Goya: Ich habe es gesehen

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John Baldessari and Goya: Ich habe es gesehen

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John Baldessari and Goya: Ich habe es gesehen

John Baldessari and Goya: Ich habe es gesehen

I interviewed John Baldessari a few weeks ago for our next issue. I think people often forget how influential his work really is and how much he has radically altered people’s perceptions of art. There is this great image of him taken in the late 1960s where he’s wearing a denim jacket with a patch that reads “Born to Paint.” It was made for him by one of the Hells Angels, very cool.