The editor of Cosmopolitan.com dishes on the world of haute couture and its “exclusivity, shameless self-promotion, and extreme ideals of what is and isn’t beautiful.”
In this collection of thoughts about her life as a fashion writer, Odell takes readers on a fun ride through an industry famous for its outlandishness. When she first began as a young fashion blogger for NYmag.com, the author quickly learned that she and her ilk were “like the global warming of the fashion industry—their impact only selectively acknowledged despite its undeniable existence.” As an unknown, she was relegated to the back row of fashion shows top-heavy with celebrities and egotism. She experimented with attention-getting—but sometimes frankly ridiculous—styles such as pink acid-wash shorts both on and off the job while learning about fashion forecasting from the likes of Li Edelkoort. Odell describes encounters with top designers like Rachel Zoe and Karl Lagerfeld that initially terrified her. Despite having to deal with ferociously protective assistants on the one hand and outrageous eccentricities on the other, her experiences with both left her feeling “delirious.” As Odell built her reputation, she caught the eye of Anna Wintour. The legendary Vogue editor interviewed her for a job that Odell characterizes as one for which she would have had to “[go] on valium every day just deciding what to wear every day.” Her rising status in the world of fashion blogging eventually led to a coveted invitation to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. There, she met with the impossibly gorgeous women at the heart of the brand’s success only to learn that “they, too, are as self-conscious as the rest of us.” Odell’s insight into what fashion tells us about ourselves is ultimately what makes her book so refreshing. As she observes, “the fashion industry, in many ways, is a study in how deeply we long to stand out in order to fit in.”
A sharply amusing fashion memoir.