Some looks come and go, but this collection of 472 images as tutely edited by a seasoned fashion expert and grouped into a dozen themes with staying powerwill inspire your personal style. True style transcends fashion. With her sharp eye and clever pen, long-time fashion editor and style maven Elizabeth Walker navigates fashion devotees through the recurring themes that define the essence of style. Handpicked from decades of archives, these iconic looks from famous stars and anonymous fashionistas include Diana Rosss striped jumpsuit, Marilyn Monroes simple sheath dress, Louis Armstrongs argyle socks, Kate Mosss bondage dress, Raquel Welchs itsy-bitsy bikini, Jackie Os embroidered peasant blouse, Lauren Huttons menswear suit, and Farrah Faucetts chainmail tank dress, as well as leopard print sunglasses, platform clogs, and a natty fedora. Clever juxtapositions of the images attest to the durability of these signature looks. A portrait of an Indian army commander clad in tartan from 1865 is paired with painter Fujita in plaid both men could have appeared on the catwalk of a Comme des Garcons show in Paris last week.
Rocker Keith Richards and a chic model from the 50s sport animal-print details with dramatically different effects. This source book is all about proportion and contrasts, creative innovations, and rarely glimpsed photographs. From bold floral patterns to ethnic accents; from menswear and swimwear to one-piece ensembles; with metallics and beading, lace and feathers, this book offers endless inspiration from the style setters throughout history who have shirked the slavish dictates of runway trends in favor of a bespoke style drawing on classic themes.
Elizabeth Walker was successively art director and men's and women's fashion editor at Harpers & Queen. She contributed to the Saturday Telegraph, the Times, and the Sunday Times, and the Weekend Financial Times. She was Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor for Marie Claire and today is a freelance fashion consultant and writer.