Not surprisingly, I’m always reading about style or topics relating to style. In fact, thinking about the last few books I’ve read, each has had some sort of element relating to style or fashion. Even this piece of fiction (which I loved).
The two books I’m recommending both focus on icons: a celebrity figure’s likeness captured on canvas, and multiple iconic pieces of clothing and their longevity and genius as styled in the current moment.
One of the books on my nightstand, Strapless, by Deborah Davis, is surprisingly something of a page-turner. It’s the story behind the famous John Singer Sargent painting, Madame X.
The story centers on the painter and the subject and the relationship between them. But it’s also so much more: It’s about construction of a woman’s image and the culture around her, including the nuances of clothing color choices and silhouettes. The subject of the painting, Amelie Gautreau, was a Parisian woman who carefully developed her celebrity stature, only to watch it collapse after the Salon at which Sargent showed the painting for the first time. It’s a fascinating look at 19th century style and culture.
The other book I’m poring over right now is a lighter read: The Cool Factor, by Andrea Linett, the founding creative director of Lucky magazine. (My life hasn’t been the same since that magazine folded. 🙁
Anyone looking for fresh styling ideas will get a lot from this “guide to achieving effortless style.” There are celebrity style interviews and specific guidelines for purchasing certain iconic pieces: a leather jacket, a trench, etc. I highly recommend it.