Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fashion and Beauty Book Recommendations :-)

Talking about books (which I love), there are four or five I have recently read that bear recommendation.
I cannot praise enough Christa Weil's Secondhand Chic: Finding Fabulous Fashion at Consignment, Vintage, and Thrift Shops :

Just the sections on "Taking Care of your clothes" (laundering etc) and on spotting quality with the different seam finishes etc... is worth the price of the book alone. Really if you are interested in fashion this book is a must have.

I have also read lately Danny Vosovic's Fashion Inside Out: Daniel V's Guide to How Style Happens from Inspiration to Runway and Beyond:

It is a great book if you are a new or aspiring fashion designer with great interviews with industry icons like Tim Gunn, Diane Von Furstenberg, Todd Oldham, Heidi "Frau Seal" Klum, pattern makers, model bookers, stylists, you name it...
It also has great tips and instruction of the basics of pattern making, sketching and draping (which is why I got the book). And on top of it, it is a beautiful book.

Speaking of my eternal crush (his posture, vocabulary and wit make me swoon. That and the gorge baby blues) Sir Tim Gunn, I have also recently read his book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style)and it is delightful:

As far as style advice, his is very basic. Invest in quality pieces, stock great basics, etc. But what I loved were his views on personal style and shopping and closet cleaning philosophy and the narrative is a delicious peek into his intellect which is just effervescent ;-). He makes me wish I was a 6'2, gorgeous, 42 year old gay male architect who looks like an older and distinguished Jack McKenroth, so that I could propose and be reciprocated and we could live happily ever after in Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water" and be served rumaki by our houseboys while we drink very dry martinis and watch old Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson movies and attend brilliant charity balls. Here is the incomparable and Adonis-like Jack so you can see what I am talking about:

Well, personality-wise I am kind of exactly like a combination of that and Chris March.

I do not know if he would approve of my style though since I am more Vivienne Westwood and Franco Moschino than Diana Vreeland or Audrey Hepburn. But he would love the fact that like Coco Chanel and Kate Hepburn, I am one of those Masculin/Feminin women you have to lock up your men and womenfolk for. Which would be a very fair assessment and something that has been often said about me (I loathe false modesty, so Anglo-Saxon. I am very Gallic that way).

Another great fashion book I am in the process of reading is Fashion Conspiracy, The - The Dazzling Inside Story of the Glamorous World of International High Fashion by Nicholas Coleridge. It is a great book that gives an inside view of international high fashion straight from the mouth of legends like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Bill Blass, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake. It really tells it all. It is a great insight into how the major fashion players came to be and how a garment path can be traced from the runways of the fashion capitals to the sweatshops of Mumbai or El Salvador. It also speaks of famous feuds and the careers of people like Andre Leon Talley pre-Vogue, Grace Coddington etc...

It is an older book so a little harder to find but well worth the hunt.

Another great book that is legendary is Kevyn Aucoin's "Making Faces".

This book is the Bible of make-up really. It teaches you all the basics about applying makeup, techniques, fantasy make-overs, the works. I have copied so many of his make-up designs and they work like a charm. It should be on every woman's library.

Another great book I have found is Born-Again Vintage: 25 Ways to Deconstruct, Reinvent, and Recycle Your Wardrobe by Bridgett Artise and Jen Karetnick:

It has great ideas on how to de-construct and re-constitute new wardrobe pieces from stuff you can find at thrift shops or in your wardrobe and which you might have given up hope in. Incredibly creative and fun.

Try these books. They are all wonderful and amazing knowledge for those of us for whom fashion is a lifestyle.