A fashion maven shares her secrets.
In 1995, former Barneys New York fashion director Brooks (I Love Your Style, 2009) was in Miami, working as a photographer’s intern, when Madonna invited the whole photography team to her 35th birthday party. The young fashionista had not packed a single party dress, causing her to scurry around South Beach in search of something suitably amazing. In the end, she wound up wearing her own floral slip dress, pretty, but not “remotely cool.” Readers with similar problems—lunch with Mick Jagger, gallery openings with Plum Sykes, sudden invitations to the splendiferous Met Ball—will find much useful advice in this bright and breezy confection. Brooks has been swept up in fashion since childhood (she grew up shopping in Palm Beach), and although she picks up a Chanel this and a Lauren that at flea markets and vintage shops, she also inherited couture from her stylish mother and aunt. She counts among her fashion influences Patricia Herrera (daughter of designer Carolina), her college roommate at Brown; Diane von Furstenberg, whose son she dated; Brown classmate Tracee Ellis Ross, Diana’s daughter; Sofia Coppola, her “favorite of all style setters”; and model Lauren Hutton. At 22, Brooks was a gallerina, “one of the well-raised, polite girls pretty enough to charm billionaires into buying art at blue-chip galleries,” when she decided she’d had enough of owner Gagosian’s tantrums. After she quit, a friend advised, “take the thing you like to do most on the weekends and turn it into your career.” That happy pastime was buying vintage handbags at flea markets, so she decided to become a handbag designer, which she parlayed into a job as creative director for Frederic Fekkai, which led to her stint at Barneys.
Filled with tips on hair, makeup, nails, lips, shopping, packing, and smiling for photographs, this book will thrill readers for whom Christian Louboutin is a household god.