Fashion surrounds us…and some might even say overwhelms us. Whether it’s shopping for clothes or getting dressed in the morning, it’s easy to feel at odds with a world that seems to be all about appearances. But not only can fashion be fun, silly, impulsive, and even inexpensive – it can also be a really rewarding avenue of self-expression for everyone. By starting with the most basic formula (clothes + art = fashion), Learn To Speak Fashion strips away the anxiety and artifice to get to the heart of what makes clothing so much more than what we put on our bodies. The lessons within these pages range from understanding how to dress every part of the body and how to make your own pair of pants, to learning how to harness your design ideas with an inspiration board, or hold a fashion show in your backyard. Like the two previous Learn To Speak titles, Learn to Speak Fashion warmly welcomes both the clueless and the informed with telling anecdotes; surprising revelations; and clear, conversational language from Laura deCarufel, an author who has extensive experience reporting on fashion around the world. So whether the aim is just to look good or to pursue a career as a designer, reporter, or stylist, this book will speak to the fashionista in all of us.
The third in a series of lively approaches to creative endeavors (Learn to Speak Dance, by Ann-Marie Williams and illustrated by Jeff Kulak, 2011, etc.), this offers genuine advice amid a sea of exclamation points.
DeCarufel has been a fashion intern and an editor, and she co-founded a Web fashion magazine, Hardly. The Canadian author’s enthusiasm is unflagging, and she takes preteen readers with her on the “clothes + art = fashion” formula. She starts with finding one’s own style and continues with learning to see: using visual curiosity to examine design, pattern, color and so on to find what inspires. Window shopping, building a wardrobe, preparing a sketchbook and learning to sew are all part of the plan. She gives advice about runway shows, models, fashion shoots, stylists and so on. She frames these events as activities that young folk could actually perform, and she makes it all sound possible. The layout is full of boxes, sketches and quotes pulled from famous fashion folk: Some may find the type on dark backgrounds to be hard to read, but visually it is very effective. The last chapter lists “essentials” for designers, photographers, stylists, magazines and interns. These are very simple but really cover the basics, and her attitude that fashion and style are worthy and enjoyable pursuits is spot-on.
The whole is written in a gender-neutral tone, without condescension but with a certain number of assumptions about access to technology and tools like cameras and sewing machines.
deCarufel's personal anecdotes about her experiences in the field add a very sincere feel to the book and make it obvious how passionate she is about her work.
Young fashionistas dreaming of launching their careers will find solid advice in this information-rich book that promotes 'a lifelong friendship with fashion.'
Readers with an established interest in the fashion industry will find honest and encouraging advice.
With a fresh and honest, yet age-appropriate look at the fashion world, Learn to Speak Fashion gives creative fashion designer wannabes a place to start. Fun and inspiring!
Young people, both boys and girls, who hope to conquer the fashion world, will be happy to see a book published that speaks to their dreams.
A beautifully designed primer on developing one's personal style.