Mario Testino: In Your Face, Taschen, $60
You know I love a good coffee-table tome. And if it’s one that will spark a lively conversation, no matter who walks in your door? So much the better (and infinitely more interesting than leaving boxes of trivia cards scattered throughout your living room, or playing a rousing game of “Would you rather…?” after one too many white wine spritzers).
This isn’t your mama’s coffee-table book, thank goodness. Everyone from your spouse to Great Aunt Hilda will have an opinion – and a strong one at that – about the contents. But that’s a good thing, right?
In the world of fashion photography, there’s absolutely no one like Mario Testino. Beloved by models, editors, designers…he’s a world apart. If you’re like me, and you have a weak spot for his almost-uncomfortable, preternaturally avant-garde style, Taschen’s latest collection of his edgiest works is a must. It’s packed with the best of his editorial shoots from recent years, mixed with plenty of images of naughty celebs doing everything we love to imagine them doing behind closed doors. It’s like having a pair of binocs at the ready to spy on the best party of the year.
Whether they make your heart soar, transport you to another place, or make you squirm uncomfortably in your seat, there’s no denying that Testino’s images take fashion photography to the rare level of art. His images are always utterly original, from concept to execution, shot through with fantasy and edge and beauty. He sees things in a way no one else does, until the finished image appears and suddenly, all you can think is “Of course. That’s just how it should have been.”