Woman checking eyelid, in trick one-way mirror, wi

Things to read #27

Andre 3000 discussing tour jumpsuits at an art exhibition in Miami.

“When it comes to love and friendship and the normal things in life, I think I am patient. Fashion, however, does not know patience. It’s an abnormal life.” A snippet from a very very very in-depth interview with Raf Simons for 032c.

People have always and will always love checking themselves out. Views from a two-way mirror in 1946.

I met a man whom I soon became interested in romantically. Nothing physical had happened between us yet, but things were going in that direction. When he visited my apartment for the first time and was gazing up at a beautiful fashion photo of my mother, taken by Irving Penn, he said, “It must be hard to have a mother who’s that beautiful.” ‘The Looks You’re Born With,’ by Amanda Filipacchi.

Champagne glasses unfortunately have very little to do with Marie Antoinette’s boobs (and a little to do with Kate Moss’).

The mind-poking work of graphic designer and artist Barbara Nessim, and how it relates to Nessim’s former flatmate, Gloria Steinem.

Oh, Stewart Lee. You get it.

Kurt Vonnegut is one of my all-time favourite writers, but even the best people in their fields can come up with absolute howlers. Rape howlers.

On women and cancer, and being a woman writer with a woman’s cancer.

Diet Coke Fashion Friday: Fashion Books Aren’t Just For Christmas (Part I)

I KNOW, I KNOW.  It’s far too early to be thinking about Christmas lists.

Actually no, it’s not really.  August is early. November is OK (but maybe a little bit questionable).  Now is the time where the start of gift lists and wish lists are starting to form in your mind, where an idea or a spark hopes to develop itself into THE BEST GIFT EVER GIVEN.

If you can’t think of the best gift that has yet to be given, let me suggest a book.  Books are great.  Unlike electronics, they don’t crash or freeze, they are incredibly tactile and the feeling of looking at a picture on a page is far superior to looking at one on a screen (it’s the glossiness, I think).

I’ve got some fashion book choices for the various people in your life.  Well, the people in your life who like fashion.  For everyone else, I’d suggest a book token.

1.  For the fashion connoisseur, the friend who knows everything there is to know, who can out-Lagerfeld Lagerfeld and scare Colin McDowell with their knowledge of industry trivia, it’s perfectly acceptable to pull out the big guns.  The out of print, highly covetable (and quite expensive) Antonio’s Girls by Antonio Lopez will mean you get free styling advice for years to come.  A compendium of sketches and photographs of muses including Jerry Hall and Tina Chow, this beautiful book by the late Lopez is something of a collectors item.

Honourable mention – Karl Lagerfeld’s Illustrated Fashion Journal of Anna Piaggi

Photo via Captain Magnets

2.  For the down-in-the-dumps friends, there’s nothing better than a flick through The Cheap Date Guide to Style for to restore you to your normal fashion equilibrium.  2012 has not been a great year for a lot of people (myself included) – the economy, the weather and the ever-looming tiny chance of apocalypse have a tendency to make a person feel less sure of themselves.  Cheap Date is a great book to make a person feel good and refine their style in a totally non-judgemental, self-celebratory way.  It’s amazing what a tiny change can make in a person’s outlook and this book reflects that.

Honourable mention – Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design by Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte

3. For the non-fiction friend who just can’t stop reading biographies, the life of September Issue breakout star and creative director of American Vogue Grace Coddington is a prudent gift choice.  I haven’t read Grace: A Memoir yet (it’s not out until November 22nd) but Vogue have already published an excerpt with suitably scandalous tidbits online – if a woman can mistake a condom for a chocolate mint then you know her outlook on life is going to be interesting.  The book will be accompanied with sketches from Coddington’s own hand.  They are all incredibly cute.

Honourable mention – D.V by Diana Vreeland

4. For the modeliser friend – the friend who has a slightly unhealthy obsession with models, I present to you Kate: The Kate Moss Book.  Published by powerhouse Rizzoli Books, it has eight, count ’em, eight different covers.  It is the definitive collection of images of the ever-chameleonic Moss. I don’t get the model-worship thing – even after just researching an article on Moss and her career I still don’t gt it – but I do get that model-worshippers will love this ridiculously heavy slab of a book.

Honourable Mention – Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion (which, surprise surprise, also has Kate Moss on the over)

6. For the friend who wants to break into fashion media, this is the book to buy.  Granted, it might be a little bit dry to give a friend an academic textbook for Christmas, but they’ll thank you later.  This book goes through all aspects of fashion writing, from journalism to PR and everything in between.  No stone unturned – no angle unexamined, Writing For The Fashion Business will teach the reader exactly what it promises on the cover. It’s pricey, but well worth it.

Honourable mention – Mastering Fashion Styling

Valentino-anjelica huston 011

Related #6: What makes a style icon?

If you read yesterdays’ post, you’ll know why ‘style icon’ should be split into subcategories. Apart from it appealing to my nerdy/slightly anal nature (I’d arrange my clothes by the Dewey Decimal system if I could) some so-called icons just don’t measure up to their counterparts.

Instead of style icons, we should have style gods, style heroes, style deities, style inamoratas, style simulacrums, style mediocrities and style ‘marks for effort’.

Here’s my (incomplete) list of women that I think deserve iconic status, in descending order.  Style is subjective, so no-one is going to agree 100% with me.  If you violently agree or disagree, then leave a comment and tell me who’d be on your icons list.  Play nice now.

Publicity still for Breakfast at Tiffany's

Style Goddess: Audrey Hepburn

Other Style Goddesses: Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly

Angelica Huston in Valentino for Italian Vogue, 1972

Style Deity: Angelica Huston

Other Style Deities: Kate Moss, Francoise Hardy

Piaggi captured by The Sartorialist

Style Hero: Anna Piaggi

Other Style Heroes: Tavi Gevinson, Grace Jones

Publicity image for Louis Vuitton

Style Inamorata: Sofia Coppola

Other Style Inamoratas: Alexa Chung, Anna Wintour

Lowe in Futureclaw

Style Simulacrums: Daisy Lowe

Other Style Simulacrums: Rumi Neely, Cheryl Cole

There’s no point in listing mediocrites, because by definition if something is mediocre then it can’t reach iconic status.  And no point in including ‘marks for trying’ people, because I’m typing this in a pair of old pajamas and that would just be too hypocritical.


Who’s on your style hit list?

This scares me.


From here

Not Kate Moss and Johnny Depp. They don’t scare me.

I wonder what kind of love they had that made them able to open themselves up to the world, to show such intimacy to everyone with such ease.

I’m the opposite of the ideal woman, in that I’m very vocal, but seldom seen and I have a serious aversion to photographs. You’ll probably find about three pictures of me on this blog. I’m also not a huge Moss or Depp devotee.

But there’s just something about this picture. It perplexes me. I just don’t understand how pictures like this come about. But I’m glad that they do.

P.S – In direct contravention to what I just said, you can follow me very publicly on Bloglovin!  Just click on the wee icon on the right.