FALLING FOR FASHION
Why do we love the way we do? And how? And who? In The Looks of Love: 50 Moments in Fashion That Inspired Romance, Hal Rubenstein, author of 100 Unforgettable Dresses and co-founder of InStyle magazine, approaches this timeless topic through movies, television, music, fashion, politics and advertising, revealing how style can forever alter our notions of gender roles, sexuality and what love should look like. Rubenstein discusses influences like John Galliano, Nancy Reagan and grunge darlings Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, but his sweet spot is film, which he explores with infectious enthusiasm. Consider how Flashdance’s sliced sweatshirts resonated with a new generation of sexually independent young women. And where would trench coats be without Casablanca? Rubenstein’s prose is romantic, wry and even a little bit wicked; he knows what makes us tear up and when we want to laugh (kindly or not). Love can sour as quickly as the appeal of shoulder pads, but if you’re lucky, it can last a lifetime.
In the early ’90s, Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth insisted that wearing makeup was a “violent backlash against feminism.” Professional makeup artist Lisa Eldridge offers the ultimate counterpoint with Face Paint. Makeup can be playful and creative, and while Eldridge has plenty of fun discussing beauty pioneers such as Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Grace Jones, she considers makeup with an anthropological eye: “[T]he freedom and rights accorded to women during a given period are very closely linked to the freedom with which they painted their faces.” Beginning in ancient Egypt and moving through the golden age of Hollywood, Eldridge traces the vast history of cosmetics, explores the evolution of materials and techniques, and delves into the intrinsic ties between women’s history and the way we embellish our skin and lips. Makeup is what you make of it, Eldridge insists. It can make you part of the tribe, or it can set you apart from it.
PEOPLE, PARTIES, PLACES
Where’s Waldo? meets Perez Hilton in the hilariously illustrated Where’s Karl?: A Fashion-Forward Parody by Stacey Caldwell, Ajiri Aki and Michelle Baron. Fictional fashion blogger Fleur takes readers to the trendiest places around the world, from a photoshoot in Marrakech to Art Basel Miami. Our mission is to locate Karl Lagerfeld amid the riotous, flamboyant crowd, but you’ll also spot style crushes like Tilda Swinton and the Olsen twins, plus other members of the fashion elite, or as Fleur calls them, “mostly undiagnosed lunatics and megalomaniacs with highly covetable outfits.” Go ahead—obsess.