Imagine going back in time and observing exactly how the greatest style icons in the history of fashion, chose their clothes, styled their hair and did their makeup. We would learn some fantastic secrets about style and most importantly, the fashion at the time but sadly, that is not possible.
Sarah Kennedy, author of 'Vintage Style' published by Carlton Books, has come up with the next best thing. Her book looks back at the twenty five most iconic women of the past century and shows you how to emulate their style and looks through up to the minute fashion advice and step by step beauty tutorials. Each chapter opens with a full page photo of the featured woman along with photos of modern day celebrities and it-girls who encompass a similar style. The advice given is tailored specifically to each look ensuring that authentic results are achieved. Twiggy's 'Ultra Mod' look is all about a less is more approach to dressing, mixing shorter than short skirts with low kitten heels or flats whilst Wallis Simpson's 'Mistress' look is personified by show stopping elegance delivered in a luxurious and understated manner.
The book takes a clever approach to what has become a popular if not overused subject for a book. It markets itself as a ‘how to’ guide to dressing like fashion’s iconic women but once you begin reading, you realise that it ventures far from the world of imitation and impersonation and explores the reasons why these women became iconic. Kennedy dissects every inch of their style, translating it into a way of life that can be adopted by women of all ages. From gazing at the always glamorous, sometimes rare photos of the fashionable beauties featured in the book, one thing is clear. Each one carved their way into the role of a ‘style icon’ by embracing their bodies and making the most of their assets, something that today’s style icons are still doing. However, it isn't just this uninhibited search of self-identity that gave them this coveted status (although it acted as a catalyst). With her faultless fashion history knowledge, Sarah Kennedy uncovers the hidden truths about the women she features allowing us to learn the real reason to why Wallis Simpson dressed in the sharp, prim way that she did or that becoming a ballerina before Audrey Hepburn was a famous actress shaped her personal style forever.
What really sets this book apart from the rest, however, is the extensive and invaluable list of the best vintage stores situated in the major fashion capitals around the world. Kennedy’s infinite knowledge and her passion and interest in the subject really shines through as she shares with the reader the excitement she feels when searching for the perfect vintage item and the thrill that she gets wearing it.
Each chapter is scattered with hints and tips on sourcing good quality, authentic vintage that proves useful to even the most seasoned vintage shopper.
Vintage Style is a stylist’s dream, a journalist’s bible and a must read for everyone with an interest in fashion. It acts as an address book to the most coveted places around the world, a style guide and an inspiration book, there is nothing this book doesn’t cover and I would recommend it to women young and old.