Fashion- Related Books: Reviews

Fashion- Related Books: Reviews

I’ve had the pleasure- and I really mean pleasure, of devouring some really good fashion books as of late. Let me get right down to it:

Iris Apfel- my dearest all time favourite icon has a book out: IRIS APFEL accidental icon- Musings of a Geriatric Starlet

Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon by [Iris Apfel]

This book is absolutely delicious. True to Iris style, the book is as colourful and entertaining visually as it is to read. Do not confuse this one as a mere coffee table book (I mean it’s gorgeous enough to be that)- but it’s way more. This is a delightful read into Iri’s life with some preciously detailed moments – both of her personal and business life. I honestly couldn’t put this one down. So many passages that had me discovering new things about Iris and I can’t rave enough about the nostalgia it stirred within me. It made me long for glitsy New York times. I love this woman’s spirit and her no-nonsense way of looking at things. Delightful!

I highly recommend this to all unique fashionistas with a flare for originality- and to everyone else out there- because she is incredibly real, fun, pragmatic and ever- so relatable!!!

Next one of my list: Bill Cunningham: Fashion Climbing

Could not put this down! Cunningham, the genius force behind the columns! More than a street fashion photographer and fashion reporter, Bill set the trends and pace for fashion. Everyone wanted to be photographed by him! But before that, what was his story? Oh this is so much fun to read!! Hat designer and creator firstly as well as store visual merchandiser- Bill talks about how all that fanned out for him. He writes such a humorous memoir filled with incredible details of fun and mischief. So down to earth and ready to take chances out of any situation- his life is so colourful and amazing. He brings in society, politics, disco- he pulls this altogether as we take a ride into his world. More than a fun read, you will adore the sense of history and be drawn right into his life. You will love this!! A real love affair with fashion.

This one makes me so happy!!! Fashion Quotes- Stylish Wit & Catwalk Wisdom

You’ve seen me use a quote from this one last week in my post: Be Unique…Fashion Quotes I Will Fashionably Live By This little gem is not only delightful, but also so enlightening- especially when you consider the eras the quotes were written in. Different perspectives on fashion depending on the times makes these more than just mere quotes. If you dig deeper and put it in context, the meanings can be totally re-interpreted, depending on one’s own perspectives. This is probably why quotes are meant to live forever as they are so adaptable (for the most part..and if not- well how interesting is that?!). Fascinating little book which I’ll not only read for the fun of it- but I actually have a whole series based around it! Anyone who loves fashion will for sure relate to this! Love it!

The next three books are more professional in nature- but no less engaging and interesting for anyone with a flare and love for both history and fashion.

Dr. Ingrid Mida’s: The Dress Detective: A Practical Guide to Object-Based Research in Fashion

There is so much that can be learned from history through the study of fashion apparel. How people lived, fought and loved, are only a few of the things that can be discovered by looking deeply into what may seem to be but an ordinary dress of the past. Dr. Mida proves how effective minute research in this area can be both beneficial to uncovering a multitude of clues that draw you right to the depths of the most intimate part of a person’s life. True detective work, with all the steps involved in really looking and ‘seeing’, to ultimately discovering. Prior to this book, I had never stopped to think of how such details (or the research method) in pursuit of these, could lead to the vast possibilities of revealing the most incredible discoveries!

This book will be of utmost value to anyone who loves both fashion history and apparel- it brings a different dimension to the way we look and appreciate what people of the past actually wore. It helps bring the human aspect even closer, rendering history all the more fascinating. I’m definitely incorporating parts of this book into my teaching of fashion history. But there’s also pure pleasure in reading and discovering all the goodies in this book, just for the fun and interest of it all.

Next: Do you love both Fashion and Art? If so, you’re going to love Dr. Mida’s, Reading Fashion in Art

I’m not sure if fashion junkies are alone in noting that everything in fashion is paralleled by, or submersed into, art? If you have never really pondered on that, I suggest you start observing – And – what better way than doing so than by referring to this magnificent book! Truly an awakening on how to really appreciate works of art and their defining of culture and society through art and fashion. Two realms that seemed independent of each other are truly intertwined. This book’s analogy certainly helps give us clarity and better understanding of people and their lives specifically by reading fashion in art. I truly enjoyed the spark this book lit up for me- from one chapter to the next. Not only is Reading Fashion in Art visually splendid, the way it is analyzed and broken up for us to truly appreciate and understand the contents and the relevance of such a study, is what did it for me. I shall for sure use this one in my History of Fashion Courses. But not only that! I can only imagine how all this info will surely entice many conversations for fashion lovers alike.

Next: For all you fashion up-cyclists out there, here’s a twist on things; why not try some upbeat mending!

Mend! by Kate Sekules is a book like no other. No seriously, I really didn’t know what to expect, other than a guide to get me started on Visual Mending (or VM as she calls it). Instead, I got so much more than that! I learned about the history- of mending and stitching and the people behind it- creators too. This was so insightful, because believe me when I tell you that such historical information is incredibly hard to find – or for the most part- nonexistent. All this detailed info written in such a fun, easy-to-read manner, had me devouring this book in 2 days. Obviously the book will stick around me for more than that, since now I can’t wait to get started with the stitching practice part!

You all know me to be crazy about transforming and DIY’ing all my clothes and that which I thrift- so it’s no lie that this is just feeding my addiction like nothing else these days. My Mom was an Invisible weaver (mender) and through her I learned this almost-lost art. Now I’m thrilled to apply more VM to beautify and personalize my craft. Will also be using this book in the workshops I give at school. I’m so motivated- what a terrific book!

What books have you been reading lately?

#Confessionoftheday: I’m totally addicted to fashion books- of any sort. Seriously I want to own them all. Whether it’s for reading pleasure; teaching source; decorating; cutting up for projects; antique collecting. I always have a reason- and honestly- I’m not looking for a cure!

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I love this blogging community so much! And I know how much goes into writing every single post, every single week. It’s a dedication thing. And- we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it. So we put our everything in it! Please take the time to check out these wonderful bloggers and what they have to say. It’s good for everyone:)

(Click on the Links below to see where I go read, comment and link up every week!)

MONDAY LINKS

The Ageless Style Link Up-  The first Monday of every month

Glass of Glam

Mutton Style

Pocket Full of Polka Dots

My Glittery Heart

Not Dead Yet Style

Away From the Blue

Robin LaMonte

Fashion Trends and Friends

Ask Suzanne Bell

Fashion Fairy Dust

TUESDAY LINKS:

Links a la Mode

I Do De Claire

Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Walking in Memphis in High Heels and The Fashion Canvas

Shelbee on the Edge

Style Splash

Jenerally Informed

Not Dressed as Lamb

WEDNESDAY LINKS:

Jersey Girl Texan Heart

Living on Cloud Nine

Rosy Outlook

Seeking Sunshine

Straight A Style Blog

Granola and Grace

The Queen in Between

Coast to Coast

This Blonde Shopping Bag

Is This Mutton

Mix and Match Mama

My Purple World – Oh My Heartsie Girl

THURSDAY LINKS:

A Labour of Life

High Latitude Style

Doused in Pink and Curly Crafty Mom

Good Random Fun

Mummabstylish

Thursday Moda by Elegance & Mommyhood

My Bijou Life Online 1-Creative Compulsions AND 2-Traffic Jam

North West Mountain Living

FRIDAY Links:

I also do a Link Party every Friday! Confessions of a Montreal Styling Diva

Sharing a Journey

Shelbee on the Edge

Nancy’s Fashion Style

Lizzie in Lace

Momfessionals.com

Let’s Style Some Fashion Spice Back into Our Life!

Nearing the end of a dreary, hectic, panicky year…Are we all, still in a casual laid back styling mood? Really? I honestly don’t think so. It’s true that we can’t attend any grand events or celebrations like we used to, that’s for sure; but this confinement is feeling pretty much like a sort of modern times war. Crazy, scary, somber, dangerous and lonely times…

Fashion moves with the times and is a direct representation of what we’re living. For me, I don’t want that to be slouchy indoor dressing forever. Enough already: I’m banning the word ‘lounge’ from my vocab! Delete.

Here’s a bit of history: After WW2 (ok I’ll be quick- don’t wanna bore you here- but the history of fashion teacher in me just can’t help it!)- as I was saying…After the war and even during the last bit of it- women longed for a change! They didn’t want the drab clothing and poverty looks they were forced into by war.

Imagine that women went as far as drawing up their legs because they couldn’t find or afford decorative lacey stockings! I’m not making this up:

With Nylon Stockings Scarce, Women Painted Their Legs Using Gravy Juice  During the War Years ~ Vintage Everyday

And- right out of that war, along came Dior with his New Look- back to the fancy and to hope and dreaming again!

The Image that Launched a Thousand Misconceptions | Jonathan Walford's Blog
A dress for peace time!

I say that’s what we’re all feeling inside- a longing for glamour, and over-the top. Don’t you feel like dressing up? Even if it’s gonna be comfortable and casual- please- oh please- make it funky, glamourous and a bit on the spicy!! Are you on board?

Enough with the drab- and please LOSE THE SLIPPERS!!

I was excited to style up this gorgeous 2 piece ensemble by Eva Varro because casual (when you’re going nowhere) can feel and look as cool and glam as can be when you’re wearing something this beautiful. I am loving the black with its touch of animal print that adds all the spice I need. Ladies- you need this outfit. Ultimate pick-me-upper:)

#Confessionoftheday: 2020 is on its way out – and I can’t wait. But in the meantime, I’m transitioning out of the loungewear and back into the stuff I actually want to strut in. After all, the festive season is upon us, let’s spice it up!

Are you in?

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I love this blogging community so much! And I know how much goes into writing every single post, every single week. It’s a dedication thing. And- we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it. So we put our everything in it! Please take the time to check out these wonderful bloggers and what they have to say. It’s good for everyone:)

(Click on the Links below to see where I go read, comment and link up every week!)

MONDAY LINKS

The Ageless Style Link Up-  The first Monday of every month

Glass of Glam

Mutton Style

Pocket Full of Polka Dots

My Glittery Heart

Not Dead Yet Style

Away From the Blue

Robin LaMonte

Fashion Trends and Friends

Ask Suzanne Bell

Fashion Fairy Dust

TUESDAY LINKS:

Links a la Mode

I Do De Claire

Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Walking in Memphis in High Heels and The Fashion Canvas

Shelbee on the Edge

Style Splash

Jenerally Informed

Not Dressed as Lamb

WEDNESDAY LINKS:

Jersey Girl Texan Heart

Living on Cloud Nine

Rosy Outlook

Seeking Sunshine

Straight A Style Blog

Granola and Grace

The Queen in Between

Coast to Coast

This Blonde Shopping Bag

Is This Mutton

Mix and Match Mama

Pastries Pumps and Pi

My Purple World – Oh My Heartsie Girl

THURSDAY LINKS:

A Labour of Life

High Latitude Style

Doused in Pink and Curly Crafty Mom

Good Random Fun

Mummabstylish

Thursday Moda by Elegance & Mommyhood

My Bijou Life Online 1-Creative Compulsions AND 2-Traffic Jam

North West Mountain Living

FRIDAY Links:

I also do a Link Party every Friday! Confessions of a Montreal Styling Diva

Sharing a Journey

Shelbee on the Edge

Nancy’s Fashion Style

Lizzie in Lace

Momfessionals.com

When Fashion is Your Muse – Part 3- (Fashionphile Focus)

If you love fashion, then I’m sure some part of you loves history- am I right?  Well, that’s certainly the case for me- period costumes will get me every time; whether it’s at the museum, online, or at the movies (hello Netflix).  Jaw-dropping gorgeousness that swifts you back in time…

I’ve grown attached (historically that is😉 to not only the fantastic outfits of the past, but also the ‘fashionistas’ of the time.  Creating a style that went hand in hand with their rank, but even moreso with their large personalities, these historical figures have also become my fashion Muses.

Setting the pace as human fashion plates, styling their looks according to their ‘personal stylists’ (more about these in another post!).  Ravishing, often decadent and certainly luxurious- the craftmanship of their garments has no such comparison.  Clothes definitely made to last!

So- without taking you into a History of Fashion course here (I could though- because that’s one of the courses I do teach!)- Here are some of my favourite historical figures and a bit about them- Check out their style!

Well, you just know I’m gonna start with Marie Antoinette, how could I not?!  Reigning queen of fashion, the beautiful and much- maligned queen of the French was hated from the beginning (primarily because she was Austrian) but also because she was thought of as an over-indulging and frivolous queen.  If you do drop Hollywood and read the real history- you’ll see that she was wrongly accused in so many ways- But, now onto fashion!  Yes- she was the ultimate fashionista with the most superb style (thanks to her stylist- for another post!)  Next…

Do you know Diane de Poitiers?  She was the gorgeous (and much older) mistress of the French King Henri II.  Known for her beauty, brain and style- this fashion icon led the scene even more so than the queen (Catherine de Medici) herself!  Her beauty potions to keep her young included washing her skin with pure gold ( and ingesting too…which leads to speculations about her death).  Next…

Madame de Pompadour (Louis XV’s mistress) was a breathtaking beauty.  Tending and doting on the King was a never ending, all-consuming task (due to his insatiable sexual appetite).  Not always upto it, especially since she was becoming ill and very frail- Madame de Pompadour still enjoyed the king’s company as he did hers.  But a king needs to be satisfied…What does she do?  She selects a group of young, very, very willing seductresses (that weren’t too bright at all).  Thus satisfying the king’s lusts without ever wanting to replace his mistress for he loved her mind so much.  (BTW, the king was not even aware of de Pompadour’s setting this all up!).  Oh did I mention (sorry for going astray there)- she was the best dressed lady in court.  Her fashion reputation still stands today. Next…

Veronica Franco the great Venetian courtesan of the 16th c was known (amongst other qualities) for her literary and artistic accomplishments.  But- we’re talking fashion- so!  Obviously wearing more audacious and seductive attire, courtesans of the day were ornately styled up!  Expensive and sought out materials adorned their bodies- and often set trends way before nobility and royalty…Not very difficult to believe if you think that their lovers were mostly men of the highest ranks who could muster up the most exquisite gifts at a whim in exchange for the courtesan’s art. Veronica Franco was also a mistress to King Henry III of France.  Let’s just say her wardrobe must have been over the top. Next…

Let’s get into history’s influencer muse…the Countess of Castiglione.  This beauty set up her own photo shoots- leaving a lasting  legacy that still follows her today.  The photo shoots were way ahead of her times, artistically speaking, and she made quite the reputation for herself.  She came from a highly aristocratic family.  Her beauty was immeasurable and so was her charm.  So much so that her uncle sent her to France to butter up Napoleon III to reunify Italy.  Suffice it to say that the liaison was short , but worked!  In the meantime, she made quite an impression as she became the icon to follow.  The French relished in her looks – she became known as the Queen of hearts- again, because of a famous photo-shoot (above left). Next…

Oh dear, have you heard of Marchesa Luisa Caschi? Eccentricity to the max! Muse to several artist of the early 19th c,  the Marchesa was an outrageous fashionista.  She collected a menagerie of exotic animals- and could be found walking them in the parks.  Anyway- her style was incomparable and trend setting as well! Next…

Looking for some good od Renaissance fashion.  Look no further than the utterly breathtaking Giulia Farnese (seductress to the Pope)- you may have seen her on the Borgia’s (but that’s Hollywood).  In reality, she was forced into that relationship.  And- being in a relationship with the most powerful man (probably on the planet back then – there was no higher rank)- Giulia got what Giulia wanted in exchange.  And what did Giulia love more than jewels and the latest fashion (not much more really).  Being the beauty she was- Giulia was the trend setting Madonna of the Roman hills; with a scandalous painting of her representing the Virgin… Next…

How can we look at historical fashionistas and not talk about Cleopatra!  Oh my goodness- this Greek sublimeness (yes she was Greek; from the line of Ptolemy- descendants of Alexander the Great)- No other woman on earth could have been more powerful.  She had first pick on everything and gold was her element of choice!  Ornate you say?  Who would I pick as her doppelganger…Cher of course!  What do you think? Next…

Leaving you with my two favourite historical women in fashion.  Starting with Alienore (Eleanor) of Aquitaine.  Power you ask?  Notorious Fashion Queen of the Mideival.  She was all about silk, fine wool and gems, gold…lots of gold.  Her beauty matched her unharnessed strength.  There’s a recounting of her while married to the French King Louis VII on their trip through Palestine during the Crusades, where Alienore rode with her ladies through battle, loose long hair looking like Amazons.  There’s so much to her power and strength, every girl and woman should read up on her. Next…

Lastly, Josephine Bonaparte- my all time favourite muse!  Impeccable style this Martinique beauty (the Rose of Martinique) was the Viktoria Beckham fashionista of the 18thc.  She caught Bonaparte’s fancy and that was it!  He made her Empress.  She is well-known for the ‘empire’ style dress (more on her stylist as well in a later post!) Empire because she was an empress.

There are more! But I didn’t want this post to be never-ending! If you want to see more, please visit my Historical Fashion Muses Board on Pinterest- can check it out HERE

Here’s just a glimpse:

#Confessionoftheday: There’s a bit of each of these muses in every woman I believe…but I’d rather just pick colorful elements from their fashion sense rather than their lifestyle- oof!

MY LATEST POSTS…

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I love this blogging community so much! (Click on the Links below to see where I go read, comment and link up every week!)

MONDAY LINKS

The Ageless Style Link Up-  The first Monday of every month

Glass of Glam

Mutton Style

Pocket Full of Polka Dots

My Glittery Heart

Not Dead Yet Style

Away From the Blue

Robin LaMonte

Fashion Trends and Friends

Ask Suzanne Bell

Fashion Fairy Dust

TUESDAY LINKS:

Links a la Mode

I Do De Claire

Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Walking in Memphis in High Heels and The Fashion Canvas

Shelbee on the Edge

Style Splash

Jenerally Informed

Not Dressed as Lamb

WEDNESDAY LINKS:

Jersey Girl Texan Heart

Living on Cloud Nine

Rosy Outlook

Seeking Sunshine

Straight A Style Blog

Granola and Grace

The Queen in Between

Coast to Coast

This Blonde Shopping Bag

Is This Mutton

Mix and Match Mama

Pastries Pumps and Pi

My Purple World

THURSDAY LINKS:

A Labour of Life

High Latitude Style

Doused in Pink and Curly Crafty Mom

Good Random Fun

Mummabstylish

Thursday Moda by Elegance & Mommyhood

My Bijou Life Online

North West Mountain Living

FRIDAY Links:

I also do a Link Party every Friday! Confessions of a Montreal Styling Diva

Sharing a Journey

Shelbee on the Edge

Nancy’s Fashion Style

Lizzie in Lace

Momfessionals.com

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