Where Life Meets Style — Paging style and taste

Aaron Leth

;”Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.”

Recently I ran across this wonderful quote from Gore Vidal. Vidal is a very prominent writer in history whose witty, critical take on society and politics made him (in)famous. But the quote was featured in the book “Glamazon: How to Be Fabulous, Famous and Flawless” by Deborah Gray and Athena Starwoman (an obvious penname, but a good one). These two women fiercely put being stylish into words, and well, it got me thinking about how many books there are to aid your style quest – and yes, you’d better be on one. I was at B-Loco this weekend, and yowzers, it is hurtfully apparent not enough folks are heeding my advice.

That’s OK, though, because here are the places, besides here, you should be looking. And even if you don’t have enough time, (ANOTHER book, right?) make it your bus book, something you read on those filthy Campus Connectors or the 16 bus you take across the river.

1. Tim Gunn and Kate Maloney, “A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style.” OK, so we all love hearing him tell the designers of Project Runway to “Carry on,” but now his style prowess has been fitted and edited for the presses. I find this book to be much better than his Bravo show, where his tips are slyly dictated to a guest, much like TLC’s “What Not To Wear” – just without Clinton and Stacy’s sass and class, and we all know how important those are.

Anywhom, the book. To me, it seems the best part of the book wasn’t even anything to do with clothing (which totally surprised me), with which many strictly associate Gunn. The coolest chapter was on how to mix “fashion cocktails.” From the classic martini to more funky concoctions, Gunn articulates the best party accessory. No doubt this will eventually end up a “bargain book” table staple, but do check it out.

2. Athena Starwoman and Deborah Gray, “Glamazon: How to Be Fabulous, Famous and Flawless.” I know I already mentioned this title, but more must be said. (Starwoman? You bet your badonkadonks!) The cover has a woman driving a vintage Corvette, and if this isn’t enough to draw you in, perhaps the price is: it’s only $12.95 at the Coffman Bookstore.

From the intermingled quotes to the foolish final chapter on “glama spells” to use like you’re an original “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” this book has something for everyone. I think the most important thing to take away from this book is the list of fashion items that should be included in every woman’s closet, from the little black dress (they even go so far as to suggest TWO!) to a red kerchief (you know, for attending that spare hoe-down Ö er something.) Bottom line, though, it lives up to its title: It’s fabu.

3. Finally, so I don’t weigh down your canvas totes and North Face backpacks, I have a don’t-miss: “Style,” by Kate Spade. Many of you love her handbags, but what you might not know is that she has a line of house and paper products, too.

Needless to say, she knows style, grace and taste, and champions her view in this book. A mere 100 pages of mainly visual/text layouts, this book covers style necessary for the most glamorous of parties to dealing with everyday decisions. While much of the content focuses on fashion and clothing design tips, her wording is just like her brand: elegant and elegiac.

Okey doke. That’s all! I hope you all had fun at this week’s MNFashion Weekend. I didn’t make it too many events (sorry – too many “fashion cocktails”), but I hope you got to check out the stylings of some of the greatest designers in the Twin Cities, like Kjurek Couture, which is available at Cliché boutique. OH, and one last thing: American Apparel is finally open in Uptown at 1433 W. Lake St.! Hoopta Hoopta! I’ve waited so long. Ö