Monday, July 6, 2009

Fashion Book Review: The Cheap Date Guide To Style

Hi my fellow Petites!

I'm not a fan of 'style guide' books. There's something cringe-worthy, comical and absurd about a reader following a book, step by step, on how to dress themselves. Trinny & Susannah for instance, have no concept of style - they're fashion magazines in human form.

A couple of months ago, I purchased a copy of "The Cheap Date Guide To Style" by Kira Jolliffe and Bay Garnett. The pink and silver cover with a quote by Sophie Dahl was the very reason I bought the book at Sportsgirl. It was on sale for $14.95, down from $45. Yes, the colour schemes are the same as "The One Hundred" but that's where the similarities end.

The book contains interviews by Karl Lagerfeld, Mischa Barton, Vivienne Westwood and Chloe Sevigny - a sartorial delight for you hardcore fashionistas out there. Personally, I'm not convinced that Mischa Barton style is 'unique' - but that's the only disagreement I'll have with this book.

However, it isn't your typical style guide. It's a completely different skin, it celebrates risk-taking, individuality and being off-beat, if that's your cup of tea. If you're trying to figure out what your true style is - you're better off reading Nina Garcia's "The One Hundred" book. This books is definitely for those who already have embrace the beat of their own style and want to refine it.

The book has zine-feel to it. Which is expected because authors Jolliffe and Garnett penned a style zine called "Cheap Date" - which focuses heavily on secondhand shopping, vintage goods and gained a sizable cult following. Hence, the book version of Cheap Style was published.

The book is peppered with quotes by fashion designers, celebrities and authors. Unlike "The One Hundred" - I feel the authors chose these quotes with careful consideration and reinforces their beliefs in fashion.

I also like the imperfect, scrapbook-like, teen magazine in the 80s aesthetic. Photographs published in the book which taken with a film camera - which gives a feel that this whole book isn't about aspiring to be a high-fashion glamorously dressed indiviudal. Instead, it is an anti-fashion magazine in a form of a book. Of course, by turning away from the glossy world of high fashion, it takes on an alluring chicness and honesty on its own.

This book is great to get style inspiration - though I wouldn't recommend it to someone who desperately feels the need to reinvent themselves, and follows the guidelines of this word-to-word.

Happy reading!


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