Born in Columbia, Nina Garcia was influenced by her very stylish parents and she has worked in the fashion industry for over fifteen years. Best known as a judge on Project Runway, fashion director at Marie Claire and formerly at Elle, in her book she shares all the very useful style knowledge she’s gathered over the years.
Nina emphasises the importance of being one’s own muse rather than a fashion victim and she lists films ranging from Breakfast at Tiffany's to Pulp Fiction where one can pick up style inspiration.
Throughout the book there are quotes on style, fashion, women and art etc. from icons including Karl Lagerfeld, Elizabeth Taylor, Coco Chanel and Katherine Hepburn (there's even one from Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci). Fashion designers and models including Tory Burch, Christian Louboutin, Diane Von Furstenberg, Giorgio Armani, Heidi Klum and Michael Kors also take part in a question and answer session.
The Little Black Book demonstrates the importance of self-confidence and shows you how to feel good about yourself. There are numerous tips about what to wear on particular occasions (black tie, white tie, dressy casual, casual) how to combine colour and texture and how to achieve your own signature look. Nina Garcia emphasises that it's all about individual style but not about being perfect. She also acknowledges(as we all know)that you can have great style without spending a fortune. As a shoeaholic, I was so pleased to see that she has a whole section devoted to 'the utmost importance of shoes'! I also loved reading the chapter about growing up in Columbia, how she admired her mother's sense of style and the fashion culture shock when, at the age of fifteen in high heels, short skirt and rabbit fur, she arrived at her new all girls' boarding school in Wellesley, Massachussetts (which she describes as 'maybe the preppiest town in America')
There's also a very interesting final chapter devoted to fashion decade by decade with key trends and designers.
miss b's favourite quotes:
'Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.' Bette Midler
'Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess'. Edna Woolman Chase
'I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans:the most spectacular, the most practical,the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes' Yves Saint Laurent
'It's not money that makes you well-dressed it's understanding.' Christian Dior
'One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde
'Never go on a trip with anyone you do not love' Ernest Hemmingway
With Ruben Toledo’s beautiful illustrations and Nina Garcia’s excellent advice, The Little Black Book is timeless and a perfect gift for anyone you know who is interested in fashion or a little treat for yourself of course!
miss b recommends:
- buying the book just for the quotes and artwork
- buying it from Amazon where it's currently £6.89 for the Hardcover edition