Just read Nina Garcia's "Little Black Book of Style", attracted by Reuben Toledo's illustrations and the Amazon blurb. Deeply disappointing.
I won't waste electrons castigating this unedifying, clunky book. My copines in the style blog world are posting more nuanced material every day... so read them!
Garcia lists ten style essentials that include the Little Black Dress, the trench coat, the white shirt, the mans' watch, the jean- perhaps useful counsel if you're fifteen, but nothing new or even well-said here.
Once you've done a bit of living, you own (and have replenished) these essentials and are looking for more deeply-considered perspective. Signatures, not standards.
My aunt Magdalen wore Seaman Schepps "Night and Day" seashell earrings (left) with everything, her white up-do floating like a meringue above them.
Style signatures I've admired:
- Rosalind's armful of bangles
- Mhendi tattoos on Anita's feet
- Denis' Breton sailor shirts
- Lenora's collection of cats' eye glasses
- Clare's exquisite Indian necklaces, piled on
- Christine's Opium fragrance ("It's not supposed to work on a blonde", she says, "but it does.")
- Daniele's antique hatpins, worn on her beret
This is the difference between a woman who wears the eternal basics, and the one who ventures a signature.
She may wear the white shirt, black pant, ballerina flat... but she enters, smiles into your eyes, offers something to remember her by.
What style signatures are memorable to you?