Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Chic Summer Reads
To all those beach blanket fashionistas, you may be in search of the perfect fashion book to tuck in your gorgeous (I'm sure!) beach tote. Feel free to peek in my fashion library. I've compiled a summer reading list that I hope to get to before I start seeing Boston's awesome fall foliage (which is when you're supposed to wear scarves, you summer scarf devotees! Just kidding. I'm actually one of them!).
I'm enrolled in a fashion writing course through mediabistro.com, which I heard about from my favorite college professor (a fabulous writer, I might add; I am not a kiss-up!). The class has a suggested reading list of some great fashion books, so naturally I'll include some of those on here. And, of course, I can't resist adding my personal picks. :)
A Dedicated Follower of Fashion by Holly Brubach
Our class was assigned three of the essays that appear in this book; now I want to read the rest! The three short pieces I read were strong, despite their length—proof that “brevity is the soul of wit,” indeed. Brubach’s voice is certainly witty, refreshing amongst other fashion articles that lack her kind of depth. I laughed out loud reading “New World Order”; Brubach channeled Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless character perfectly. And her sardonic tone in “The Spirit is Willing” was pitch-perfect. Brubach’s voice is really strong and refreshing. I loved the poignancy of "Serial Dresser," too; who would think to assign such specific identities to particular articles of clothing? It’s the kind of writing I’ve always wanted to do. If you, too, are a dedicated follower of fashion, you need to check this out!
That Extra Half an Inch by Victoria Beckham
Now, I loved shouting "Girl Power!" with my BFFs back in middle school, but I've never exactly counted Posh Spice as one of my fashion icons. However, I flipped through this book, just for fun, and fell in love with all the gorgeous pictures and Beckham's surprisingly funny, self-effacing writing. Posh Spice may not be a fashion authority, but she is certainly making her mark in that world - with her dVb line, as the newest face of Marc Jacobs - and we can probably expect to see a lot more of her. Neon yellow sheath dresses and all!
Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano
This is another book I've merely flipped through but can't wait to delve into more. I read Christie Matheson's Green Chic (another book I highly recommend), and this is obviously in the same vein. Green living is important to me, and is becoming increasingly important to more people day-to-day, especially when books like this are published. The impending doom of climate change is scary, but there's no need to freak; we can all contribute by taking simple steps, and these books tell you how. Even if you're not an eco-freak, I think you'll find how relaxing, refreshing and rejuvenating the whole reuse, renew, recycle thing can be (you may even start speaking more alliteratively! How 'bout that?). Okay, I'm a dork, but I'm completely serious. Trust me, you'll feel so good about wearing organic cotton tees, planting a little flower garden (or even just growing herbs in your windowsill), finding the beauty in everyday things. Obviously, this is something I'm very passionate about! Just give some of Uliano or Matheson's tips a try; they're easy to implement and will leave you feeling smart. And fabulous! I'm telling you, green is the new sexy!
The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia
Got a friend in dire need of a drastic wardrobe makeover? This book is the perfect RX. It's still fun for fashion diehards, too, full of cute illustrations and invaluable tips. It's also a bit of a fashion memoir; Garcia takes us back to her glamorous childhood in Columbia and tracks her fashion evolution, all the way to Elle, Project Runway and beyond.
The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business by Teri Agins
I just started this book by The Wall Street Journal senior writer Agins, and I'm already hooked. Before I became interested in fashion, I studied Communications and Business. This book is tailor-made for readers with that mindset, interested in social journalism and fashion economics. I admit, it's a bit of a "heavier," more technical beach read than these other fashion books, but, hey... it's good to be well-dressed and well-rounded. :)
The Fashion Book
So this choice is obvious. Published by Phaidon Press, The Fashion Book is a virtual fashion bible. I bought this to use as a fashion dictionary/encyclopedia, and it's been a great resource (though it's missing some up-and-comers I'm interested in; its last reprint was in 2001). Don't wanna lug an encyclopedia to the beach? Grab the handy paperback version! It fits in even my teeniest purse (though that's not saying much; the "handbags" I carry could fit an Olsen twin). This book is so fun to page through, full of striking images from front to back. If you're a fashion blogger, too, it can help you drum up new story ideas as you learn fashion facts.
These are just my latest picks; I could easily dream up more. My fashion class reading list is fantastic, and I plan to make a major dent in that during the coming weeks. But what are your favorite fashion reads? Any suggestions, or comments on the choices above? I'd love to hear from you!