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The Ellements of Personal Style - 25 Modern Fashion Icons on How to Dress, Shop, and Live Books in Review
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The Ellements of Personal Style - 25 Modern Fashion Icons on How to Dress, Shop, and Live
Melcher Media/Gotham Books
ISBN 978-1-592-40567-1
Published October 2010 - Hardcover - 256 pages - $30.00

Hate the cover.  If this is what "style" is about, put me out of my misery.  I know it's probably tongue-in-cheek, but I don't find it funny.  Not from a serious "fashion" magazine anyway.  It's a mess.  Although Elle's been around since 1945 (in the US from 1985) and has been the leader in freeing women's minds fashion- and stylewise, it's had a lot of competition and survived well.  This collection of 25 women (so-called fashion icons) whose styles serve as examples of "style developed" which can "help you feel more powerful in the world and more comfortable in your own skin".  [I think that's more "in the mind" than what you wear; if you're comfortable in your own skin, it'll show.]  However, it's always fun and interesting to peep into the lives of the well-known, and that we do in this book.  First off is Michele Leah in a couple of outfits along with a few standard questions ("interview"): Most prized possession?  Or "People compliment my...?", and most offer an Inspiration Board.  We get a brief glimpse into the lives (and sometimes the homes) of some famous (who's Erin Wasson or Yvonne Force Villareal or Minnie Mortimer - love her closets!) women accompanied by info you may or not know, or find interesting.  Others featured include Fergie (very glam when dressed up), Olivia Wilde (I like her carefree and casual style), Alicia Keys (can be classy at times), Becki Newton (simple elegance - love the wall clock), Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling (sophistication and elegance personified), and Milla Jovovich (a wonderful surprise).  Some homes are elegant-if-eccentric, and I loved Tracee Ellis Ross' home.  However, some people's homes look like junk shops as there's just too much clutter (suffocating to me) like Anjelica Huston's and Dita Von Teese's homes.  I like this sentiment in the book: "Style, of course, isn't merely expressed in the way a woman dresses; it's about everything from the way she lives (from architecture to table settings), to where she travels, to her taste in music, art, food, cars, technology.  In short, life". l Well said.
Conclusion - Nice to flip through to remind yourself you don't need to look freakish to be "stylish".  Just be you.

book cover

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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