Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Would Audrey Do?

Title: What Would Audrey Do? Timeless Lessons for Living with Grace and Style
Pamela Keogh
Pages: 253
Published: Gotham Books, 2008
Genre: How-to/Etiquette/Biography
Cover Score: A
Overall Grade: B+

Audrey Hepburn was more than a movie star--she was mother, humanitarian, Holocaust survivor, and the epitome of class, grace, and style. Whether in fashion, relationships, her work on the screen, or UNICEF, there is no one more worthy of imitation. What Would Audrey Do? presents readers with the necessary tips and mannerisms needed to become a woman of grace and style, just like Audrey herself.

My thoughts:
What Would Audrey Do? is more than an etiquette book based off of the mannerisms of an iconic, timeless cinema star. It is chock-full of interesting facts about Audrey herself, a style guide, and a biographical account that explores the most private aspects of the star's life.
The book is carefully sectioned into chapters that dole out advice in a graceful, endearing manner that Audrey herself would be proud of: "Audrey as a Movie Star", "Romance Central", "Zen Audrey", "Home Studies", "On the Road", "'A Very Stylish Girl...'", "Heartbreak and Solace", "Modern Times", "St. Audrey", and "Legend".
What Would Audrey Do? is a book that you want to snuggle up with on a rainy day, a book that you want to drink tea and eat bonbons with while reading it in a rose garden. It reads quickly, and not like an etiquette book at all, which most often simply lay out rules in a commanding manner.
Ms. Keogh delicately displays the "dos and donts" of a lady in an old-fashioned and quirky manner, while supplementing her facts with tidbits and Audrey history, stories that are both amusing, hilarious, heartbreaking, and relatable. This guide to living life with grace and character is a delightful and charming presentation of Audrey's life, as well.
Ms. Keogh's admiring and spunky account of this iconic star's life verifies that Audrey goes beyond what we believe to be a "celebrity". A true role model, What Would Audrey Do? justifies how much of a role model Ms. Hepburn truly was--and still is.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Sartorialist

Author: Scott Schuman
Pages: 507
Published: Penguin, 2009
Genre: Nonfiction/Fashion photography
Overall Grade: A

Scott Schuman just wanted to take pictures of people on the street who looked great. His now renowned fashion blog, The Sartorialist, was an attempt to showcase the wonderful and varied style of real people--not only those of the fashion industry. This book is an anthology of Scott's favorite shots from around the world, including well-known fashion figures, as well as shots of anonymous passersby whose outfits are created with comendable imagination and taste. From the streets of Rio to Beijing, Stockholm to Milan, these are the people that have inspired Scott and in turn, inspired designers and people of all ages, wage and nationalities with an interest in fashion.

My thoughts: The Sartorialist is a book that I want to keep around--sitting on my
dresser as a source of inspiration when I'm getting dressed in the morning, resting on my coffee table when I want a dash of beauty in my day, in my hand as I commute home from school. A collection of beautiful, glossy, color shots, this book truly satisfies the fashion junkie within me.
One of the best things about this anthology is that it is light on words and heavy on images--showing, and not telling, about the extraordinary and unusual job of Mr. Schuman, and the people he meets and encounters on a daily basis, picking them out of a crowd.
I spent a whole afternoon combing through the book and taking notes on my favorite outfits. The book is small (ideal for travel!), but packed full of funny anecdotes, memorable faces, and unique looks that make me want to paw through my closet and put together my own polished outfits.
Mr. Schuman is beyond a "fashion photographer"--he is a portrait artist,
capturing the personality and inner essence of every person he photographs. The way he photographs clothes gives readers tiny glimpses into the private lives of his subjects--the holes in the shoes of the tiny woman on one of the glossy, minimalistic pages hints at a difficult life, but her brightly colored bag is a spark of hope.
Some of the outfits are good enough to be replicated, some are quirky and bizarre, and yet others are stunning takes on "fashion" that you want to hang on your walls.
I will definitely continue reading The Sartorialist blog daily, and this chunky book of style makes a great gift for a fashion or photography-crazy friend.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monthly Mailbox: May

My take on the Story Siren's In My Mailbox!
Thank you to Random House Children's Books!

  • I So Don't Do Famous by Barrie Summy
  • Things I Know About Love by Kate le Vann
  • Passion by Lauren Kate
  • The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
  • Tighter by Adele Griffin
  • Kiss of Death by Lauren Henderson