Book Shelf: A fashionable four
With Emma Plant
Through Thick and Thin, Gok Wan, Random House, $35
Through Thick and Thin yells at you like a personal trainer; life-affirming, yet a touch irritating. This could be attributed to Wan’s writing voice, or perhaps the internal hesitation to read another ‘transformation’ autobiography. Putting the cringe aside and reading on proves to be a good thing in this instance, though. A male biography that positively sorts through male (and female) eating disorders is a gem. Wan has been called a friend to all women. His television series sees him as a star that renders confidence and good dress sense to all the ladies who watch it with open hearts. Easier done on TV than said in real life. The best thing about his story is it gives Wan more humanity and reduces his untouchable status as a fashion celebrity.
Style, Lauren Conrad, HarperCollins, $29.99
True to her gentle, all-American style, Conrad bestows on us no-nonsense fashion advice. Preppy–girly-girls, eat your hearts out. You will devour the pages replete with Lauren-love. Bows on shoes, perfect T-shirt layering, doe-eyed makeup how-tos and even a little life philosophy are all thrown into the mix. Obviously Style is aimed at die-hard Hills fans. In the text Conrad admits to making many fashion faux pas on the television series, yet avid fans will refute this ever happened. The result is a ‘have no bad days’ guide. If it’s your cup of tea, it is an easy commitment.
Vogue Model: Faces of Fashion, Little Brown, $99.99
If you have paid any attention to the sartorial end of the culture pool in the last decade, you will have seen most of the images in Vogue Models: The Faces of Fashion. Showcasing models from the likes of Christy Turlington to the more unusual Anja, Vogue Models is a comprehensive as it gets… for white women. A major criticism is the book depicts only two black women. Visually, the book’s photography is testimony to Vogue’s sophistication and momentous content. In the trademarked Vogue way, Vogue Models makes no apologies for the ideals of beauty and feminism it perpetuates. If it did apologise for such content, it simply would not be Vogue. On a more practical note, don’t buy this book if you don’t have a personal caddy; for a book celebrating such svelte women, it is ironically robust.
Makeup: The Ultimate Guide, Rae Morris, Allen & Unwin, $39.95
Ah, Rae Morris; the antithesis to Napoleon Perdis. If Australia has one smart makeup artist, it is she. The lady knows how to interpret and change faces. With avant-garde flair, perfect minimalism and practiced Morris methodologies, the Aussie-born beauty has staked claim on old cosmetic territory. While the book is meant to be a guide, it really is targeted at knowledgeable and proficient artists. If you love a good perve-worthy paperback and you have some unleased land on your coffee table, consider it. If you want to start at step one of the making up process, bail. While it is a considerably lovely book, it is definitely for those already in the know.
Emma @ Girl With a Satchel