Saturday, November 13, 2010
Book Review : The Fashion File: Advice Tips and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men by Janie Bryant
The Fashion File by Janie Bryant ($26.99) encompasses a wide range topics related to personal wardrobe selection... the fine art of matching your own style preferences to what actually looks best on you. The Fashion File is designed to provide you with fashion inspiration, tips, and other little gems of information. The gorgeously designed 175-page book covers an impressive range of topics- from the standards (choosing pieces to complement body shape, makeup, accessorizing, etc.) to somewhat overlooked topics (menswear, fabric selection, lessons on vintage clothing, etc.)- the book manages to cover an impressive amount of ground.
Bryant, the costume designer for AMC's Mad Men is no stranger to fitting personality with personal style. Her job requires her to match character with clothing and accessories with attitude. But although the book uses the Mad Men series as one of its selling points, you don't actually need to be a fan of the show in order to enjoy the entire book. In fact, Mad Men is used only really used in passing references such as relating certain characters in the series to a particular fashion style or idea. As long as you are familiar with the looks of the characters (the book provides photos), you won't be lost on these references.
No matter what your age, the advice is this book is age appropriate. The book covers universal styles, such as the "little black dress" and basics- things that anyone of any age can wear without looking or feeling ridiculous. The most unique aspect of the book is perhaps that it places such a strong emphasis on options, it provides readers with multiple points of inspiration and allows them to choose among them or to venture elsewhere. For example, the book looks at a number of classic fashion muses (both men and women) from different eras and with very different looks and explains why and how their own unique styles worked for them. Even if you have a strong sense of what you like and what works for you, chances are you will find some advice in the book that you can take to heart.