Book Club: Fashion Edition

Before I start today’s post, let me assure you that I do have some “DIY” tutorials coming – however, these take time to set up and photograph properly (and I’m on the hunt for a new camera to get nice photos for the blog… my iPhone camera just doesn’t do it justice) so please be patient with me for a little longer on these. (ps – if anyone has a recommendation for a camera, please let me know in the comments!)

My family is one of readers and I definitely inherited that gene. For me, books are such a necessity in life… my earliest memories usually involve a book, I have multiple literary tattoos and if I don’t read something before going to bed at night, I can’t sleep. If we’re being honest, when my husband and I were house-hunting, one of my requirements for our realtor was a built-in bookcase. Fortunately, he managed to find me one! (I do have to organize my bookshelf…though am I wrong that sometimes a slightly messy one has a certain charm?)

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What I love is how books can transport you to another world and also educate you on different subjects so thoroughly. Fashion is one of my favorite subjects because there is such an amazing range of biographies and profiles of the industry (along with great fiction novels!).

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As a reader, I’ve slowly moved away from physical books and onto an e-reader. It may sound strange but it was a difficult decision because the feel and smell of a book are something I just love. But I enjoy the ease of being able to read books on the go – and if I’m traveling, it’s nice to just bring my Kindle rather than four or five books in my suitcase. It’s also a bonus that books are usually cheaper in digital format.

My personal recommendation for an e-reader is Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet (link). This is the $50 model (though keep an eye out for sales – it seems to be discounted around holidays) – I have a “fancier” version and bought this one for my husband… honestly I can’t tell the difference. While I mostly use my tablet to read books and magazines, you can also download apps or browse the internet.

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“Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster” by Dana Thomas (link)

Onto the books! My first recommendation is one of my favorites. “Deluxe” is the book that I tell everyone interested in luxury brands that they must read. The amount of reporting that Dana Thomas did is mind-blowing. This book is a little dated (I believe it was published in 2007) but it is still relevant today. What’s fascinating is how she details the rise of various fashion houses, the acquisitions and LVMH’s rise as a luxury conglomerate. The stories are presented in a way that they focus on the personal side, rather than the business. Other notable chapters include an expose on the counterfeiting industry and a look at questionable manufacturing practice amongst the luxury brands. I could easily write an entire post proclaiming my love for this book, so I’m going to hope that you read it… and if we happen to know each other personally, let me know so we can discuss it more in person!

note: I happened to find this editorial (“Made in China on the Sly“) from Dana Thomas that appeared in the New York Times online. It’s a really good introduction to the subject matter she presents in “Deluxe”

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“Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag” by Michael Tonello (link)

This book is also a few years old but thanks to celebrities like the Kardashians, the Birkin craze remains strong. Michael Tonello details the crazy journey he took in an attempt to secure a Hermes Birkin bag. Tonello started out as an online seller (a fact that immediately made me like him) for Hermes scarves and discovers the rabid obsession that the brand’s followers have. He quickly realizes that one can’t just walk into a store and purchase a Birkin bag – there’s quite a process involved and it takes him literally all over the world. If you enjoy fashion and travel – and would like a lighthearted, funny story – you’ll enjoy this book.

 

 

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“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo (link)

If you’ve ever needed the inspiration to go through your closet and toss items you no longer wear, this book will find it for you. I picked it up after seeing Marie Kondo on a talk show and have to admit, it took me a few chapters to get into it. Some of her advice is a little cheesy but once you finish, you’ll find yourself with a huge desire to get rid of all the excess “stuff.” Because it’s such a short read, I would suggest reading it before major changes in seasons (winter and summer, for example) to help determine what you can get rid of.

 

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“The Devil Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger (link)

I’m going to keep this short: if you’ve watched the movie, do yourself a favor and read the book. I promise it’s so much better (and this is coming from someone that has always had a crush on Adrian Grenier too). Meryl Streep is likely the only actor that could have brought Miranda to life – her character in the book is even more over-the-top. It’s a nice breezy summer read, you’ll probably want to check out more of Lauren Weisberger’s work once you finish!

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Now Reading:

“You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You” by Jennifer Baumgartner (link)

After finishing “Game of Thrones”, I needed someone much, much lighter. This book has appeared on my Amazon recommendations list for a few months now so I finally decided to give it a shot. I haven’t started it yet but I will make sure to review it once I’m finished!

 

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Freelance writer. Equestrian. Fueled by coffee. Lover of luxury fashion, college football and used bookstores.

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