One of the biggest problems with books on personal style is that the market is saturated with them. The advent of fashion bloggers and their rising popularity in the early half of this decade led to book deals for these bloggers who only had one thing to offer: tips on personal style. This translated into overwrought musings that were often copied straight from their blogs, filled with fashion mythology and banal tripe.
With that in mind, I didn’t have much faith in teNeues’s latest iteration on the subject, For The Love of Style, written by Corinna Williams and Nina Zywitz. But I was pleasantly surprised. Corinna Williams, a US editor-at-large for Harper’s Bazaar and Nina Zywitz, a freelance creative director for fashion companies and agencies, have worked in the industry for years, and their deep knowledge on the subject is evident throughout the book despite its abbreviated prose. This isn’t so much a handbook for personal style as it is a roundup of need-to-know information on the important designers of today. It is a compilation of recent trends with little anecdotes about the designers sprinkled throughout. It is divided by trends – from “boho” to “sporty” to “sexy” – and, within each trend, delineates the major players and the up-and-comers that embody the spirit of that trend. Each trend section then ends with a “top 5” list, entitled “Never Without,” in which important fashion industry insiders, from designers to bloggers, detail the most important pieces in their closet.
If you’re a fashion expert who rabidly follows everything that goes on in the industry, this book isn’t for you. This is a book for the fashion newbie, for the person whose interest in fashion has been recently piqued, who wants a fashion 101 course on the designers that are shaping the trends of today.
I like that this book is filled with photos and information from the most recent collections; which, by definition, makes this the “freshest” book on the market, an advantage for the authors. However, I wasn’t a fan of the authors’ arbitrary notions of which label “best” defines a particular style aesthetic (for example, their placement of “Hood by Air” in the avant garde section when that label could also be placed in the “sporty” section) and I felt that there were many more designers influencing and shaping fashion that weren’t even mentioned (like Josep Font at Delpozo). But those issues don’t take away from the fact that this book – with its clean, aesthetically pleasing layout and glossy, hi-res photos – would look great on any fashion-lover’s curated shelf or coffee table.