A new anti-style style book restores the magic in your closet. By Christene Barberich
Taming your inner style demons—for those not lucky enough to have it in their genes—requires lots more than just a few trips to Barneys. Imagination and a certain degree of fearlessness (jumpsuits for all!) are required in order for the contents of those shopping bags to work and look effortless—which, let's face it, is really the trick.
Fortunately, two of our favorite British style senseis—Bay Garnett and Kira Jolliffe—have just penned a book inspired by their shared journey to dress-up nirvana as well as their legendary UK fashion magazine, Cheap Date. Out in April, The Cheap Date Guide to Style is a magical mish-mash of straight-from-the-soul style advice. Unlike most how-to books that preach the gospel of visible panty-lines (bad!) and the color black (good!), this one functions more like a 128-page inspiration manual than a checklist for re-programming your Don't'ness.
Page after page, the pair mix up pics of personal style royals like Diana Vreeland and David Bowie alongside Q&As with today's arbiters of fashion, including artist Tracey Emin, Joan Jett, Karl Lagerfeld, and Vivienne Westwood. "The one and only rule of the Cheap Date philosophy is that there are no rules," the authors attest. "The key to cultivating successful style should be a fun, exciting, and empowering." We asked our new fairy godmothers of fashion to weigh in on their new book as well as their own everyday style secrets—
You've both known each other for 20 years. How long have you been talking about doing a book together?
Bay: We'd been working together on Cheap Date magazine, and it seemed like a good progression.
From left: A portrait of Chloë Sevigny taken by Bay, a page from the book depicting the power of the dumb T-shirt
How did you want it to be unlike other style books?
Kira: We thought style guides, on the whole, were intrinsically naff. It was like attempting the impossible, except that we knew it could be done because of Cheap Chic, a book from the late '70s. Also the aesthetic of the '80s More Dash Than Cash Vogue books, and our own Cheap Date vibe of snapshots and frolics. So, we decided to make a cool, fun book about clothes and style, and were driven by countering the 'anti-stylishness' aspect of celebrity and consumer culture.
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