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How to Have Style Paperback – October 7, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Clothing designer Mizrahi, current creative director for Liz Claiborne and a semi-regular television personality, presents a complete style guide in 12 case studies, meant to address attitudes and budgets as well as size, shape and age. Looking at twelve women stuck in a fashion rut, Mizrahi tailors his approach to the specific needs of each ("When Traveling on Business," "Reinvent Yourself," "Be Funny and Sexy," "Wake up from a Jeans Coma") while drawing out universal lessons and inspiration for readers. While some of his bon mots are quite simple ("A girl can do and say anything she wants when she looks like a lady"), the makeovers themselves, captured in numerous photographs and laid out in clear, clutter-free spreads, are the real testament to his wizardry. A process that includes crafting an inspiration board and filling out Mizrahi's questionnaire, making the investment of time and energy ("you have to try on lots and lots of clothes"), and gaining the confidence:. "Know when a particular style doesn't work for you and pass on it. Confidence and knowing what's right for you is 95 percent of style." This chic, easy-to-use guide should make readers more knowing and confident.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Isaac Mizrahi has received awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, including two Designer of the Year awards, and a special award for the documentary Unzipped. In 2003, he revolutionized the industry by teaming with Target to produce womens fashions and accessories and home furnishings. He most recently became the creative director for the Liz Claiborne brand, whose CEO, William McComb, said Isaac is the pied piper of women over thirty-five on making the appointment.
Top customer reviews
It is a masterpiece.
Most of the style books that I have seen in the past focus on celebrities. That wasn't the case here. The focus was on regular people. Average heights were represented as well as tall women, petites, those with boyish figures and hourglasses. I also liked the fact that women of color, various age ranges and differing lifestyles were included as well.
The major point that I took from this book was that you should find out what you like, what works for you and listen to your inter-voice when it tells you then something works or doesn't. Play up your assets and downplay the things that you don't like. Style evolves over time, so it is important to evaluate what you have as well as pick up new pieces.
The tone reminds me of his talk show on Oxygen. So if you loved that show, you will probably enjoy this. Isaac is that knowledgeable friend that will guide you towards what he thinks will work, but ultimately leaves the decisions to you. He does provide helpful tips about hair, makeup, pants lengths, underwear, accessories, tailoring, etc. General information about the different building blocks that are needed to build a wardrobe as well as recommendations to various stores and websites are also included.
This fun, quirky, easy to follow guide was entertaining as well as informative. I highly recommend it.
Mizrahi's book is candy for the eyes. There are so many pictures - full color, not just sketches, on glossy pages. Plus, this book is both fun and informative. There is a certain richness, breadth and depth to the information, unlike a lot of the style books out there. Mizrahi's writing is a love letter to women. His approach is different from many stylists, who seem to only provide guidelines for dressing like themselves.
In this book, Mizrahi takes 12 women of varying ages - 20's to 50's - and body types, and transforms them into better versions of themselves. It's amazing how the women all seem to become more vivid and alive. Mizrahi does not dilute their personalities, either. Instead, he enhances them, e.g. the quirky woman wears a thick Russian fur hat; the shopaholic learns how to combine all her prints; the plus-size woman becomes an alluring femme fatale; the socialite stops playing it safe and dons couture.
What I really love is that because Mizrahi has the credentials and the expertise, he doesn't limit himself to the same tried-and-true fashion rules. He's sort of a Picasso of fashion. One blonde professional in the book comes to him with the safe, appropriate honey-blonde hair, and he transforms her with color - both by lightening her hair to a bold platinum (she then looks like Kim Novak) and moving her away from safe black to colors that enhance her features.
Mizrahi instructs the reader as to how she can be true to herself and yet break out of her own rut through the use of an inspiration board, a broad list of resources, and a helpful style workbook.
This truly is a guide to personal style. (The pictures of Mizrahi throughout the book are really cute, too!)
I've already had my hair cut and my make-up redone, but even after reading this entire book I have no better idea what would flatter me and my figure.
I do like the concept of creating your own personal style board to see what resonates for you, but how to apply that was missing for me.
While I've seen his designs and usually like them. I have to agree with the reviewer that criticized some of his style choices (I did like the bleach blonde she hated, though). I was hard pressed at times to pick what he thought were good outfits from the bad.
I'd suggest that you look through this book before you decide to buy it. It seems to have hit a chord with some women, but it sure didn't for me.