A fashionista is a girl who always looks current and cutting edge, even when her clothes are vintage 1975. A fashionista can tell her Pucci from her Gucci and her Blahniks from her Choos, but she's as comfortable in Kmart as she is in Chanel. She wears what she likes and always looks fantastic. She's a clothing chameleon: a sharp tweed suit and ladylike driving gloves one moment, a punk rock T-shirt and studded belt the next. She's a gypsy, a princess, and a diva. She's fashion-forward, shopping-addicted, and full of fun. And you can be her, no matter your size, style, or budget.
Authors Melissa de la Cruz and Karen Robinovitz are fashionistas who share a love for impractical shoes, small dogs that fit in designer handbags, and wearing white after Labor Day. They eat, sleep, and breathe fashion. And they'll teach you how to
� Make a whole new wardrobe out of the awful duds that lurk in the back of your closet
� Use the words "postmodern" and "ironic" to fake your way through pseudo-intellectual cocktail conversation (really-it's easy, and so postmodern and ironic!)
� Score big with chic and cheap finds at thrift stores, consignment shops, and discount designer outlets
� Live like a socialite on a shoestring budget
In two weeks or less, you'll be living the lush life, from the brim of your Eugenia Kim fedora to the tip of your pointy Christian Louboutin pumps!
Cruz and Robinovitz, the effusive authors of How To Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less, now offer a combination of a self-help guide for 20-something, Cosmo-guzzling women and an ode to their own oh-so-fabulous lives. According to the authors, the road to divahood can be arduous, but following their advice will help guide the way (or at least ensure that readers are wearing the right clothes while they make their attempt). The book has chapters on building a "fashionista closet," becoming a smart shopper and using make-up wisely, and brings readers up to speed on chic cocktail conversation (for example, any fashionista worth her salt knows how to talk the talk when it comes to A-list destinations, Pedro Almodovar's oeuvre and the lessons of kabbalah). For readers who don't have the patience to sit through a chick-lit novel but want to read something besides Page Six and Harper's Bazaar, this completely frivolous handbook may be just the thing.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 29, 2004
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Excerpt from The Fashionista Files by Melissa de la Cruz
Estes-Vous Fashionista? Mais Oui!
If you have ever affected a British accent . . .
If you have ever spent a sleepless night worrying about the health of Marc Jacobs . . .
If you greet friends by kissing them on both cheeks (and you are not European) . . .
If you have ever sacrificed eating in order to shop . . .
If you have ever blown a paycheck on a pair of jeans . . .
If the only McCartney you are familiar with is Stella . . .
If your Visa bill is higher than your rent . . .
If you refer to designers by their first names in conversation (although you are not on a first-name basis with them) . . .
If you pester the mailman for your latest copy of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and W . . .
If you have absolutely nothing to wear (but your closet would heartily disagree) . . .
If you are usually late just because you just can't figure out what to put on your body . . .
Then you, my friend, are a fashionista. And there is no turning back now.
(Turn the page instead!)
LIFE IN THE "FASH" LANE
Welcome to the world of four-inch heels, four-ply cashmere, and four-dollar vintage dresses. Fashionistas will do anything to score the latest, the most obscure, the most absurd, the right-off-the-runway, the trendiest, the most expensive, the least expensive, the showstopper, the uniform, the marabou, the canvas, the nylon, the silk, the leather, the suede, the velvet, the tweed, the transparent, the ostrich feathers. We are a picky and difficult breed, with closets full of shredded tulle (but it's a Galliano!) and whalebone silk corsets (but it's a Gaultier!). We shop too much, eat too little, and sleep too late.
Our lives are often punctuated by sample sales and trunk shows, sometimes interrupted by phone calls from irate creditors, and always filled with overstuffed dry-cleaning bags on our living room floor. We experience dizziness when confronted by a supremely fabulous piece of clothing (it's called Balenciaga fever), and we have trouble sleeping if we don't have the right handbag for the season.
While we lust over the latest Parisian couture ball gowns, we also know the perils of head-to-toe designer, and we swoon when we see a well-dressed woman in a thrift-store jacket that may have served as the inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld's latest collection. We cheer when we score Dolce & Gabbana for 90 percent off! And sometimes we revel in retail (but shhhh, we're not proud of it). If it's impractical, theatrical, patterned, feathered, fur trimmed, and uncomfortable, you can bet it's hanging in our closet.
What we typically don't own: tailored classics, penny loafers, cable-knit sweaters (unless of course they've been shrunk, dyed, and somehow distressed, or are an intrinsic part of our ironic preppy phase). We live and die for our shoes. (They cost us a small fortune, after all.) And we'll take our favorite must-haves to our graves.
Some of you may scoff-huh, fashion is just so superficial. We have to say, it is. But it also isn't. Fashion is a part of life, something we need to protect our bodies from the cold and the radical agents that pollute the air (thank you, Alexander McQueen, for making such a mundane task look so damn good). It is also a form of art, self-expression, and a representation of more emotional roots. Fashion evokes a mental response from its appreciators. It can make us weep and make us feel empowered at once. It inspires thought, ideas, and creativity, and whether you shop Wal-Mart or Chanel, chances are we've all dealt with the same issues, moments, joys, and frustrations over fashion. Fashion. It does a life some good!
It's Not What You Can Do for Fashion;
It's What Fashion Can Do for You.
* It will cheer you up when you're feeling blue. Life is hard. Fashion is not. Wear red.
* It will transform your attitude and entire spirit. Nothing like a sleek pin-striped suit (with nothing under the jacket) or modern tuxedo with tall, tall heels and an envelope clutch to make you feel in charge. And trust us, you don't know power until you put on a pair of stiletto motorcycle boots and leather pants-or sexy until you slink into an Agent Provocateur slip and patent leather open-toe Betty Boop pumps.
* It will distinguish you from others. Who's going to forget the person who wears a gorgeous all-white suit with a black silk button-down shirt and striped black-and-white heels to an afternoon wedding, a lace dress and giant fedora to a luncheon, overalls rolled up with high, high heels and a teeny tank top and newsboy cap and great Chanel clutch for a casual Sunday brunch, or a fur jacket with a microminiskirt, knee-high boots, and a whole lot of attitude . . . for no reason at all?
* It will give you a reason to go out. What good will a hot little dress do for you if you're parked on the sofa, reading about what other people are wearing in a magazine and watching how celebrities dress on E! at the same time?