The first signs of Spring should be here any day now, at least according to Punxsutawney Phil who saw his shadow back in early February. While we eagerly anticipate things like tulips to bloom, snow to melt and full Spring collections to be available in stores, we here at the Refined Side are taking full advantage of our personal book collection makeover and digging out some favourites that are inspiring us this Spring – specifically related to fashion and style – to share with you.
Here is what the book’s publisher has to say about the book:
In short, frisky sections, these Parisian women give you their very original views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The authors–Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas — unmarried but attached, with children — have been friends for years. Talented bohemian iconoclasts with careers in the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing, they are untypically frank and outspoken as they debunk the myths about what it means to be a French woman today. Letting you in on their secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, a bit self-centered, unpredictable but not unreliable. Bossy and opinionated, they are also tender and romantic. You will be taken on a first date, to a party, to some favorite haunts in Paris, to the countryside, and to one of their dinners at home with recipes even you could do — but to be out with them is to be in for some mischief and surprises. They will tell you how to be mysterious and sensual, look natural, make your boyfriend jealous, and how they feel about children, weddings and going to the gym. And they will share their address book in Paris for where to go: At the End of the Night, for A Birthday, for a Smart Date, A Hangover, for Vintage Finds and much more.
Why is this book worth your time? Because it is quite possibly the most revealing book into the Parisian woman that I have read. It’s honest that they are not all full of grace surviving fashion weeks with only a handful of black turtlenecks and a strand of pearls. It’s got great tips that any modern woman can incorporate into her life – about more than style too – and it reads like you’re having a lady date with your best French girlfriends at a café overlooking the Seine. If you still don’t believe me, I urge you strongly to check out their Instagram feed which is a collection of vignettes of the topics covered in the book.
This is a book unlike any other. It is essentially a conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities—famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old—on the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives. It began with a survey. The editors composed a list of more than fifty questions designed to prompt women to think more deeply about their personal style. Writers, activists, and artists including Cindy Sherman, Kim Gordon, Kalpona Akter, Sarah Nicole Prickett, Tavi Gevinson, Miranda July, Roxane Gay, Lena Dunham, and Molly Ringwald answered these questions with photographs, interviews, personal testimonies, and illustrations.
While I was initially quite reluctant on this book as I read reviews saying it was a research/essay format, I bought it on the recommendation of a friend and was pretty much hooked from the get go. The authors asked several questions to hundreds of women – questions like “what clothing has the most significance to you” and then sharing the answers. I was captivated by both the honesty and the humour in the responses. Women young, old and from different parts of the world all gave answers that were so similar on some areas (why things had significance, etc.) and yet so different (one woman’s description of life in a sweatshop was jaw-dropping) Reading the responses gave me something I was not expecting from the book… Inspiration.
Regram @holtnyc some of the stories from last night’s swap in SF A photo posted by Women in Clothes (@womeninclothes) on
Do you have a favourite style book we should be reading? We’d love to hear!