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The Power of Style Hardcover – Import, 1 November 1994
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- Publisher : Watson-Guptill (1 November 1994)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0517585685
- ISBN-13 : 978-0517585689
- Item Weight : 966 g
- Dimensions : 19.81 x 2.03 x 25.91 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,295,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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It's an easy read, like the soap operas of the fashion magazines, where reader also glances at pictures. Actually it encloses mini-biographies of several interesting 20th century women, whom the author characterized them as the most stylish women.
Unfortunately, it delivers only a partial message on "Style".
Deceived by the title of the book, I was waiting for a keen analyze on style, like a treatise. Just reading about the lives of some "stylish" heroines, the reader can realize that their style was an elaborated fake, no wonder their adopted styles and lives collided brutally at some point in time notably after they have lost their youth and their men cheated and left them.
There are very few examples like Chanel and Elsie de Wolf, which were born talented, women who found their way to the top through hard work and creation; the rest of the presented ladies were rich women, either born rich or becoming rich from marriages/arranged marriages even by trading their own children with their ex-husbands for a hefty settlement.
This is irrelevant to authentic style; money helps to create a look, but this does not mean that adopted style can be your own self. It's just an artificial envelope. Style is above and beyond money.
Authentic style is harmony itself which is reflected by all levels of an individual: physical, intellectual and spiritual. This was not explained, nor analyzed anywhere by the author.
I was particularly fascinated by a few women. For example, Elsie de Wolfe, who basically turned the masses into fans of of interior design, was a pretty savvy businesswoman. So many of the home-related things we take for granted are her ideas. She was also gay (or bi - I can't guess exactly), lived with her girlfriend in the early 1900s and no one cared. She even managed to sell books during the Depression Era!
Each chapter covers one woman. There's a section in the middle that covers 4 of them in one shot, if I recall correctly. I liked the overall structure. It allowed me to "meet" each woman and understand her. There are some photos for most of the women, possibly all.
The only issue I had with the book was that it went from fascinating in the beginning to "eh whatever" towards the end. It held my attention probably through the 50-60% mark. After that, I was skimming more than I'd have liked. Despite that, I'm really glad I bought the book. It has inspired me and I've learned a few interesting things.
It arrived yesterday. I bought it used, but it looked new. I read it in one evening.