Stylin': Learn to Speak Fashion by Laura deCarufel
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD “FASHION”? A DESIGNER TAKING A BOW AT THE END OF A RUNWAY AS THE CROWD GOES WILD? A PHOTOGRAPHER SNAPPING AWAY? A
SUPERMODEL POUTING ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE?
Sure, fashion is about all of these–the “pros.” But it’s also about everyday clothing, looking at things lying around the house in a new way and letting your imagination run free.
Fashion is instant communication. Fashion is how we meet the world and how the world meets us.
Laura deCarufel, a fashion pro herself, sets out to show fashion mavens how to see themselves in the style industry in her Learn to Speak Fashion: A Guide To Creating, Showcasing, and Promoting Your Style (OwlKids Books, 2012). Subtitled A Guide to Creating , Showcasing, Promoting Your Style, the author sets out to touch all the bases for young people thinking of parlaying their interest in clothes into a career in the fashion industry itself. DeCarufel opens her discussion where the middle reader is, thinking about what to wear to school, what looks good on the reader and his or her friends, thinking about how design and style affect everything in daily life, “finding your style,” as she puts it, in her opening chapter, “Meeting Fashion.”
From that point deCarufel takes the young fashionista through the process of moving toward a career, beginning with simply looking, training the eye by studying current styles in a variety of shops, low- to high-end, feeling fabrics, thinking about weight and texture and patterns, and the properties of each, collecting colors and swaths of cloth, and a scrapbook of fashion photos from print sources, making drawings, and beginning a sort of portfolio that displays individual style and a wardrobe that reflects personal style that makes for a well-dressed look.
DeCarufel walks the reader through the various phases of fashion–design, tailoring, modeling and producing the show, the “shoot” and promotion in varied media. The reader who wants to mount his or her own fashion show is directed through the process of recruiting models from friends and family, finding a venue (from backyard to the local mall), creating the fashions, allowing for dressing and makeup stylists, and setting the stage with props and music. Attention is paid to details, with, for example, a step-by-step DIY guide to creating your own fashion shoot to market your show.
The author then moves on to deal with the biz in the wider world, even including advice on being an ace fashion intern, advice which is both fashion specifics and life lessons truth for the all-important intern/apprentice, with general advice to bring water and quicky foods (in case you have to miss a meal in the press of work), bring a notebook and get instructions down exactly, wear comfortable but stylish clothes, and don’t resent even the most menial job–even delivery driving or fetching lunch.
A GOOD ATTITUDE: The absolute, 100% most important tool. Interns are on the bottom rung of the ladder–-hey, someone has to be! So be prepared to grin and bear it while you’re learning everything you can.
The chief virtue of this primer to world of professional design is its thoroughness in covering the style scene--from sprucing up your closet’s contents to working in world of haute couture and all points in between. ”A beautifully designed primer on developing one's personal style,” says School Library Journal. ”honest and encouraging advice” adds Publishers Weekly.