Behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry from high-profile editor/stylist/TV personality Zee.
The author’s first fashion gig came when he was 6 years old and told a friend to lose the knee socks that made her look like a baby, charging her 30 cents for the advice. The fashion-obsessed Canadian first dipped into journalism at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where he and photographer Carter Smith created a fashion-centric campus tabloid. He went on to become a stylist at W and creative director at Elle, and he is now editor in chief of Yahoo Style and a TV red carpet commentator. Zee chronicles his career in this loosely organized memoir/fashion handbook that reads like a string of blog entries: a mixture of advice, shop and celebrity talk, and a rundown of the grueling demands of fashion industry jobs. When there’s a job to be done, “no one cares about roadblocks, obstacles, or dilemmas that you have to overcome along the way, or the floods, fires, and family emergencies that always come up.” Zee, though, gets a rush from such assignments as pulling together clothes from American designers Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and Calvin Klein for a 14-page W spread featuring Gwyneth Paltrow in less than 24 hours. Among the luminaries he’s worked with are photographer Annie Leibovitz; designer Tom Ford; models Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss; and actors Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel, and Scarlett Johansson. He owns up to his own fashion mishaps—e.g., the dress he chose for Hilary Swank for the 2003 Oscars, which landed her on the “Worst Dressed” list. Tips range from how to define your personal style to how to crash a fashion party. And if you wonder how they get all those clothes for fashion shoots, you’ll find out in this book. Zee comes across as an affable, talented, hardworking multitasker who loves talking and writing about fashion.
Fun to read and as ephemeral as the latest fashion trend.