7/7/08

"The Meaning of Sunglasses And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable"


I can't get enough of Vogue and InStyle Magazine. I gleefully flip through each glossy page, drooling over the designer wares and dreaming of the outfits I could create if I only had that $3,000 blouse on page 147. How does anyone stay on top of it all? I was asked yesterday how I stayed up-to-date on all the trends and fashions for the next season. There is no definitive one source for all things fashion. It is a combination of trend agencies who monitor and decide the trends years in advance, being a part of organizations like Fashion International Group, industry publications like WWD, newsstand fashion magazines and a good eye for what looks good.

There are other sources you can find to satisfy your hunger for more style savvy tips. Many self-professed style gurus and celebrity-turned-authors alike have tried putting their words of wisdom on style into print. I find many of these books very interesting. But there is a maze of titles to choose from. I am currently reading this great book called, "The Meaning of Sunglasses And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable," by Hadley Freeman. This book poses some interesting questions/points: (1) "Is fashion one big, nasty, and anachronistic, and misogynistic conspiracy to make women feel inadequate, or is it a means for self-expression that actually brings a lot of gratification?" xiii (2) "Thanks largely to the rise of mass market fashion... fashion is more than ever for the women themselves, not the men who look at them... In regard to the impact of mass market fashion, never before have so many good clothes been so readily available so cheaply, and never before have so many women been in the position to buy them with their own money." xv (3) "But I just do not see that having a sharp brain and strong self-esteem is incompatible with caring about how you look, and deriving pleasure from it." xv

This isn't a how-to book. More so, it takes the reader down a long path to enlightenment as to why fashion is what it is, and the statements we make with what we choose to wear. "It is a real blinking shame that fashion, which exists ostensibly to give women self-confidence, has become something that many people see as precisely the opposite." xvi

"From Publishers Weekly:
Belts aren't meant to hold up pants, according to Freeman, deputy fashion editor at the British newspaper the Guardian; belts are superfluous additions to outfits that help cinch a waist or make one appear thinner. In her witty and acerbic debut book, Freeman notes what designer bags say about their owner (Fendi is for the well-groomed lady); the messages different hemlines can send (super short miniskirts will have men whistling Roy Orbison's greatest hit at you); and the trouble with the unnecessary distraction patterns provide. Her short chapters come at random as Freeman takes a haphazard approach to the fashion world by organizing her book alphabetically—which leads to some confusion as there are six separate chapters dealing with footwear. Her most convincing chapters expose the problems with the fashion industry, such as the unrealistic body image models like Kate Moss present. Readers plagued with indecision concerning what blouse is best or what jean style fits their body type can turn to Freeman, who doesn't pull her punches (ethnic clothes, like a pastel beach caftan, are offensive; mittens are childlike; and animal prints embarrassingly obvious). (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."
Photo and book description from Amazon.com

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