I'm someone who absolutely loves all kinds of fashion books, and I am always reading a fashion book. I want to share my knowledge on these books, no matter if they are photography books, books on designers, books with outfits or fashion sketches in them, or any other type of books on fashion. So read my reviews and feel welcome to give me tips on other good fashion books that I have not read yet!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: A to Z of Hollywood Style by Sinty Stemp

This book is not really a style guide that explains how to achieve the look of certain Hollywood starlets, even though the title kind of gave me that impression. Instead, it's more of a collection of quotes relating to style, fashion and other related topics, from all kinds of Hollywood stars (most of them from the 30's, 40's and 50's, I would say).
So this is hardly a book for anyone looking for modern dressing or style advice, but if you have always liked Hollywood's Golden Era, this is a good buy, since this book is all about "the good old times" in Hollywood.
And while you may not learn a whole lot of new stuff while reading this book (I didn't anyway...) and might not find a whole lot of useful advice for your own style, it is kind of fun to read quotes like this, especially when all of them were said by people as glamourous as the Hollywood stars of yesterday used to be!
I think I would have liked the book slightly better with more photos of the stars in their heyday, but it's quite nice as it is too.
So I would definitely recommend this book for everyone into classic Hollywood glamour, since that is precisely what you get with this book. I'm not sure it's a great read for anyone looking for something more than a slightly glamour feel though...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: How to Dress for Success by Edith Head and Joe Hyams

I got this book at the magnificent book store Shakespeare and Company in Paris, the first English book store on the continent (very highly recommended for all book lovers, if you go to Paris, you simply have to go there!) on a recent trip to Paris. And just like Paris, this book is a true classic. It's written by the legendary Edith Head, the costume designer who won 8 Oscars in total and dressed legends such as Ginger Rogers, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and many others, so she knew a thing or two about style as well as fashion. And luckily, she had a chance to share some of her wisdom with the rest of us in this book!
I really liked this book, which may seem a bit weird to some, since the book was originally published in 1967, but a lot of the advice in this book is truly timeless. So I find a lot of it still makes sense in a lot of ways, and is really useful to read.
The illustrations in the book may seem a bit kitschy to some today, but I quite liked those as well.
So if you are looking for a truly timeless style book, this may be what you are looking for!

The book is rather small though, so it's not the best coffee table book out there, but quite cute, and as I said, a really nice read, so I would still recommend getting it. But as an actual book, not a coffee table one!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: The World According to Karl by Sandrine Gulbenkian

Karl Lagerfeld is a very talented designer, if you ask me, and while he has never been one of my favorite designers, he certainly is the most entertaining one. I am pretty sure everyone who is even slightly into fashion has heard some of his rather controversial and unusual statements in the past, but as far as I know, the book The World According to Karl is the first collection of interesting Karl Lagerfeld quotes.
Gathering all these quotes into one single book is a fun idea, and I am happy to say that this book is just as fun as it sounds! I think most people, even hardcore Karl Lagerfeld fans will read some quotes they haven't heard before if they pick this book up, because there is a lot of them!
I also like the design and look of the book, it feels very Karl Lagerfeld somehow, which is important, at least to me.
So while this book is not much more than a collection of quotes, it's still a both fun and interesting read. I am definitely glad I got this book!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: I want to be her! by Andrea Linett

The full title of this book is actually I Want To Be Her - How Friends and Strangers Helped Shape My Style, which I thought was a very interesting idea for a book, because haven't we all been inspired by those around us when it comes to how we dress?
However, I don't think that the idea translates so well into a book. I think it would have been a nice idea for an article in a magazine, or a column, but since most people Andrea Linett is writing about in her book are not known to me (there are some exceptions, though), I find myself rather bored by some of the stories. Also, a lot of the stories revolve around fashions from the 1980's, which makes sense, due to Linett's age, but it's not something that really inspires me as a reader today, I am afraid.
The book is also more of an autobiography in a way than I expected it to be.
That said, it's not a bad book in any way, there are many fashion books out there with much less substance, and it does have an interesting topic, unlike many other similar books, but I guess my main issue is that the book was not what I expected it to be, more of a guide to how everyone can find inspiration around them, than Andrea Linett's autobiography of style. I can honestly say I won't be using any of the tips (if there were any...) in this book in any way, and I wasn't really inspired.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: Fashion Insiders' Guide to Paris by Carole Sabas

I am travelling to Paris soon, so I am reading up on this mythical city at the moment. And when I saw that there is actually a fashion themed travel guide book to the city, written by Carole Sabas, I knew I had to get that, on top of the other Paris guide books I had already gotten.
And I am glad I did. Not only is this the prettiest of all the Paris guides I have (although the photos don't really do it justice, I think), it's also perfect for anyone into fashion like me. It has a lot of anecdotes about fashion designers, models and other people anyone into fashion would know about it. The topics covered are also ones that interest me, which is not always the case when it comes to all other guides.

You'll learn where to get facials, where to work out, where to shop, where to eat, where to stay and much more in this book, and all the recommendations are written in an interesting way, that really makes you want to go to all the places mentioned. Which might be a bit of a problem, since I will just be there for a week, but it's still a good sign!
Carole Sabas has also written a similar guide to New York City and I would definitely consider getting that too, if I have a trip to New York planned in the future, that's how much I liked this one!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: The Beauty Experiment by Phoebe Baker Hyde

I'm quite into all kinds of beauty products (you can read more about some of the beauty products I use and like over at my beauty blog, if you want), so to imagine not using any beauty products at all for over a year is really hard for me. But Phoebe Baker Hyde decided to do just that, and she also wrote a book about it, called The Beauty Experiment.

I must admit I haven't really been tempted to try anything similar myself, but I still wanted to know what that must be like, so I decided to read this book, which wasn't really only about swearing off beauty items, but also fashion, accessories and such, so it turned out to be a much bigger process for Mrs. Baker Hyde than I thought at first.
It was definitely an interesting read, but it didn't really convince me of the necessity for such a project, and I can't say that it was one of the more memorable books I've read. But that may very well be because I wasn't really into the idea of such a project to begin with. So I guess I would recommend the book to others who might be interested in scaling down on their beauty and fashion habits for whatever reason, but if you love beauty items as well as clothes and accessories as much as I do, this might not be a book that changes your perspective that much.

But I actually didn't get the feeling that Phoebe Baker Hyde wanted to convince others to go through the same process as she did, more that she wanted to describe what it was like for her. And I think she did a marvelous job at that!
I also liked the parts of the books where she described what it is like to be the wife of an expat in Hong Kong. Being an expat myself, I do enjoy reading about the experience of others, in other countries where I haven't lived myself.

In my opinion the book is not as on topic as you might have expected, given the topic of it, but I actually thought that was a good thing, since I liked the personal anecdotes and "off topic" stories quite a lot too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

Ok, so this is a review about another French style and lifestyle book, just like Ooh La La in the previous post. But this book is actually written by a blogger whose blog I had been reading for quite some time before I got the book, Jennifer L. Scott, who writes the excellent blog The Daily Connoisseur. And I have to say that when I started reading the book, I did recognize some of the things in it from the blog, but there was also plenty of new stuff in it. So I was definitely wrong to put off getting this book for quite some time, because I thought it would be too similar to the blog!

I liked how the book covers a lot of aspects, not only fashion or diets or something like that, but a whole lot, and it is also very personal, which is something I really appreciate in these types of books. Some people have complained that Jennifer writes too much about her current life in the book, but I personally thought the balance was just right.
I also think that a lot of the tips mentioned in this book are more detailed and practical for every day life than advice in many similar books. So if you find other books about French style and living like the French a bit too impractical and judgmental, Lessons from Madame Chic is definitely worth taking a look at!

All in all, Jennifer L. Scott has manage to convince me, not only as a blogger, but as an author too, and I do think this book is one of the better ones in it's genre, just like Ooh La La (reviewed yesterday).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Ooh La La - French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day by Jamie Cat Callan

I love French style and lifestyle books, as you may have noticed if you have been reading this blog for a while. (Ines de la Fressange's Parisian Chic is an excellent introduction to these types of books, for instance)
I also really enjoyed Jamie Cat Callan's book Bonjour Happiness! (reviewed here), so when I saw that she had actually written more books besides that one, I knew I had to get the other ones too. The next Jamie Cat Callan book I got was Ooh La La - French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day, because who doesn't want that?

And I must say that like Bonjour Happiness!, Ooh La La is also a very well written book, I guess I like Jamie Cat Callan's style in general, and it had a lot of little useful tips that I really enjoyed reading about, and that I think I will be useful for me. Some of the advice in the book, however, were things I already do, or just don't fit my general lifestyle, so I guess most people will not be able to use all the advice in this book, but hey, even if just some of it comes in handy, that's pretty good, no?
Some of the advice in the book are about lingerie, choosing perfume (and why perfume is important in the first place!), aging gracefully and taking time to relax and spoil yourself a bit, but a lot of other topics are covered too. One of my favorite pieces of advice in the book was how guilty pleasures are fine, if you only indulge in them occasionally, but if you make them a very big part of your life, be it a reality tv-show, chocolates or something else, they are actually bad for you, and won't feel special or indulgent after a while. So true, yet it's easy to get carried away when you have a guilty pleasure you really enjoy...

But the book is also filled with personal anecdotes from Jamie's own time in France, which I think makes this book way more interesting than just a regular "rules" book.

So I was definitely just as pleased with Ooh La La as with Bonjour Happiness, and would definitely recommend this book to all Francophiles or anyone who is a bit curious about French women in general.

And needless to say, I will definitely see if I can get my hands on more books by this author as well!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: You Know You Want It by Eric Daman

I actually really liked Gossip Girl as a show, as well as the fashion on the show, so when I saw that Eric Daman, the head Costume Designer for the show (as well as a previous staff member on Sex and the City!), had written his own style guide, I knew I had to get it.
Sadly, this book had nothing at all to do with the show, and while Eric Daman is obviously very good at his real job, writing books is quite obviously not for him. The advice in the book is extremely basic, almost juvenile even, as are the illustrations, so unless you are a pre-teen with any former knowledge on fashion, I think it's rather unlikely that you would learn much from this book.

I'd even go as far as saying that this is one of the worst celebrity style books I've ever read, so I really would advice anyone thinking about getting this towards getting another, similar book instead, like Amy de la Haye's A to Z of Style, Ines de la Fressange's Parisian Chic or Edith Head's The Dress Doctor, because You Know You Want It is really a waste of money if you are looking for a serious style guide!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: City of Style - Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock by Melissa Magsaysay

Los Angeles style is something a lot of people are familiar with, since a lot of celebrities embrace the different styles in LA whole heartedly. But what separates the style in Los Angeles from other cities in the States, or the fashion in Europe? That's what former WWD editor Melissa Magsaysay tries to explain in her book City of Style - Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock. And I must say this book was a very interesting read, even though I have never seen myself as someone who strives for a typically LA sense of style (not being from LA, I mostly associated it with Nicole Richie, whom I like, but whose style might not work that well in my day to day life, and surfers, to be honest).
Because there are so many typical LA styles to choose from, first of all!
The styles presented in the book are called Romantic Bohemian, Glamour, Skater and Surfer, Rocker, Chola-Style, Indie-Eclectic, and Casual Chic, and they are all explained pretty thoroughly and Melissa Magsaysay also shows real people who fit the descriptions, and interviews them about their style, which makes the book a nice combination of interviews and Melissa Magsaysay's own thoughts.
If you are going to LA, you will also find a lot of useful shopping tips on where to get some covetable items in the book, but I didn't read those parts as carefully, since I am not going to LA any time soon, as far as I know.
Several celebrities and designers have their say in the book too, including Monique Lhuillier, Trina Turk, Georgina Chapman and Cynthia Rowley, just to name a few.
I quite liked the book, but I must admit I found some of the chapters a bit too lengthy and detailed, which is not that common when it comes to fashion books. So if you think most other fashion books are too shallow, you might find this book really interesting, but some of the chapters seemed a bit boring for me for this reason, I am afraid.

I do like that Magsaysay's passion and love for LA fashion really shows throughout the book though. And she's not even a LA native herself!
So I would recommend this book to anyone interested in LA fashion in particular, but if Melissa is thinking of writing another book, I would highly suggest shorter chapters or breaking the chapters up somehow.