here comes another installment of ...reviewed by me, for you, as yet another book has been added to my (severely clogged and nearly sagging) bookshelves!
the cheap date guide to style by kira jolliffe and bay garnett: i first read about this book in a blog entry written some time ago by miss susie bubble of style bubble. of course, susie being far more eloquent than i could ever be, describes the book to a tee:
After I read through the whole thing in about an hour, I concluded that for me, the book would be better named 'Style Affirmation.' The book, far from adopting a 'Do this, don't do that' methodology is about encouraging a unique personal style, cultivating eccentricities and really putting your own stamp on things.
in other words, this ain't your typical style guide...it's a completely different animal, one that celebrates realness, quirkiness, risk-taking, and being offbeat, if that's your way. or really, whatever your way is, if it's really *you*. it's probably not for those people who need a lot of help trying to figure out who they are, but rather, a little mutual-admiration for those who already embrace the beat of their own style drummer and create their own look or looks.
the book has an imperfect, scrapbook-like, teen-magazine-in-the-80s-sort aesthetic, and is filled with loads of photographs that have a flash-lit, harsh, "i took them with my little old point-and-shoot film camera" style, i.e. the whole affair is not a high-fashion glamorously glossy and perfec production, and is thus approachable. it's more grassroots, like an anti-fashion fashion magazine in the form of a book. inexplicably, in it's realness, it takes on a magical chicness and honest glamour.
(fyi: bay (a british-born stylist) and kira are hard-core thrifters from way, way back, and together they penned a style zine called "cheap date", which apparently focused heavily on secondhand shopping and gained a sizeable cult following. the book is a result of that zine's success, from what i can garner.)
one of things about the book that really makes it for me are, as susie also mentions, are the quotes peppered throughout, from the authors, and from other style mavens. here some words from the book i quite like. in fact, they are sentiments i am forever beating to death in this blog and over at wardrobe_remix, ad nauseam:
"Stylishness is elusive, yet everyone is innately stylish. It boils down to confidence about your appearance. One things for sure: there's no specific type of dressing that's more stylish than another....style - to state the bleedin' obvious - is in you. It's not something you can buy."
"For anything to be stylish, there has to be an honesty behind it."
i love this quote by the recently deceased eccentric british stylist isabella blow:
"I think thinking is stylish. Looking is stylish. Culture is stylish. I think you need to be inspired by something in order to look good...I think style is about a person recognizing what their best features are."
when asked what inspires him, karl lagerfeld said:
"Everything. Inspiration comes from having open eyes."
and when anna piaggi was asked the same thing, she said:
"I take inspiration from myself."
"Being stylish is a way to project whatever we like, to be who we want to be in our fantasies and to manipulate reality."
"There are no rules...By listening to your own opinion, the possibilities are endless."
"style affirmation", indeed. thanks, susie.