The Vine

Stylish Views: New Fashion Books


Jackie O in Capri (image courtesy of Tod’s) 

I was going to blog about the outfits from Sunday night’s Emmy Awards but they were so dull I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So in honour of those women who looked like they needed a few tips ( I am looking at you and your bare midriff Gwyneth Paltrow), I would like to introduce three new fabulous fashion books that I have recently added to my crowded shelves.    

First up is Parisian Chic by French style icon Ines de la Fressange, which was given to me by a dear friend. I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to the topic of whether or not French women are inherently stylish, but one thing I will attest to is the fact that they always look effortless so I decided to give this book a chance.    

Designed like a diary or little black book, it’s a fun and easy to read. Most of de la Fressange’s no-no’s read like my What’s Not column and the list includes heavy eyeliner, scarf rings and see through plastic straps . While I am not buying her tips on how to dress like a Parisian (hello, everyone loves black and mixes and matches),  every woman out there will benefit from her advice on how to accessorize and wear her top 7 wardrobe basics. Her detailed list of her favourite Paris stores are indispensible, and she covers other categories such as wardrobe organisation, home and beauty.    

While everyone fawns over Michelle Obama, I still think Jackie Kennedy Onassis rates as the most stylish First Lady. Again her style seemed to come naturally – something that Mrs Obama’s contrived outfits fail to achieve. Italian luxury brand Tod’s recently paid tribute to her iconic style with, Jackie’s Capri, an exhibition of photographs of the former Mrs Kennedy taken during her jaunts to the famed island. Shot by famous Italian photographer Settimio Garritano during the 1970’s, a selection can also be seen in the exhibition catalogue which I fortunately own. It’s amazing how a simple uniform of crew neck tee,  trousers/capris, headscarf and oversized sunnies still look modern today. My favourite image is one of her sitting outside wrapped up in a green fringed shawl and a ruffled skirt looking look a modern day Flamenco dancer. If these don’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.    

Last but not least is a book written by my personal style icon and friend Ning Lau. This fashion industry veteran is one of its most hardworking, but managed to find the time to put together,  My Treasures, a book dedicated to her personal collections. Launched on Monday and written in Chinese with an English translation, Lau takes us on a journey through her past and the personal items that capture the memories along the way. While her collections cover a variety of categories including paper dolls, flowers and Little Twin Stars (remember them?) fashionistas will love her chapters on cult designers such as Dries Van Noten and Maison Martin Margiela. A sneak peak into her shoe and Hermes bag collection will send you running to the stores. All of this is beautifully illustrated with photographs by acclaimed local photographer Nam Kong. The book is available at Page one, G.O.D, Joint publishing  and Commercial press bookstores in Hong Kong. Overseas you can find it at Colette, 10 Corso Como, Opening Ceremony and Dover Street Market.    






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