Before the wonderful thing that is the internet entered our lives; Books were quite simply the Google of the 1900s. Forget 'Googling' a designer, a new make up brand or googling some quick homework help; it was off to the library or a good old book shop for you. As valuable a source as the internet is, sometimes having a physical source of information is oodles more beneficial.
Nevertheless, the internet is wonderful place. At the click of a button, millions upon millions of articles, images and invaluable information is at your fingertips, all just waiting to be absorbed. That's not forgetting the thousands of gorgeous items you will only ever drool over due to skyscraper prices. We know the feeling; the fear of walking into Prada or Gucci because you know you will be instantly judged by the gorgeous supermodel employees. So instead, we turn to the ever so reliable best friend we all have, in the name of Miss/Mr Internet who allows us to ogle over clothes that could only ever inhabit our wardrobes at the powers of a magical genie.
We all partake in fashion. Whether you're dressed to the nines in Channel (you lucky soul) or strutting around in a bin liner and the hideously blue shoe protectors you're forced to wear around a poolside; its still fashion. You're still making a statement, whether that be pro-plastic or pro-designer, its still there.
Fashion sources are constantly at our fingertips. From countless fashion blogs to drool over, fashion magazines to re read 100 times and the ever so popular 'street style' spotting; we don't have to go far in order to find something inspiring.
The purpose of clothing has changed dramatically in the last decade. Prior to the so called 'swinging sixties' clothing was a necessity; unless you were rolling in money; hand me downs, 'potato sacks' and sewn-together tea-towels were the norm. Indeed, there was a time when clothing was simply to cover your dignity, and served no other purpose. However, with the arrival of the swinging sixties, the purpose of clothing underwent a large make over. Fashion became a tool to express oneself and claim an identity, a tool to which the new found generations of 'teenagers' (a word that only developed in the late 50s) embraced to the nines. The rapidity with which looks changed was in itself a challenge to traditional values. There was no longer any point in making, or buying clothes designed to last. Traditional roles were abandoned, and fashion was literally 'up to the minute' - to be worn and then disposed of when a new trend emerged.
And this has barely altered. However, contrary to the rebellious connotations of fashion in prior years; fashion is now an immensely respected concept throughout the world.
Vogue is considered the queen, the goddess and the Miranda Priestly (If you don't get this then I advise you read The Devil Wears Prada immediately) of the fashion world. And oh are we blessed, because Vogue had a precious offsrping a while back. That offspring comes in the form of Teen Vogue. And when Teen Vogue grew up a little; it had it's own precious little offspring, which finally brings us onto the point of this post: The Teen Vogue Handbook.
For all of you fashion conscious beings out there, or the little fashionista inside of everybody, this is the book for you. The book is labelled, "An insiders guide to Careers in fashion". But do not fear; the book is not a guide full to the brim of how to get the stick insect look of a model these days (God forbid), but rather its personal accounts and advice for anybody who even has a vague interest in fashion, or who wants to work in the magazine industry. Whether you aspire to work as an editor, designer, stylist, photographer, make up artist or a model, the book is your holy grail of resources.
Despite common stereotypes of the fashion industry, this book provides you with a thorough, accurate portrayal of the fashion world; an intense, highly influential, creative and and hard working industry. This book illustrates that there is so much more to fashion than it appears. It opens your eyes to how much creativity and hard work goes into making the fashion industry the iconic industry it is today; all whilst putting those trolls who slate it for being vain, to shame.
The book is split into 6 main chapters, or 6 categories that make up the industry as a whole; 'Designers'; 'Editors'; 'Stylists'; 'Models'; 'Beauty' and 'Photo'. Each category is full to the brim of in-depth interviews and glossy spreads of photographs; all whilst describing exactly how you can pursue your fashion dreams; providing advice, resources, and inspiration.
The book is written in the stereotypical albeit addictive magazine style; its chatty; young yet nonetheless interesting and informative. The book is narrated by all different people which adds to the important contextual advice; it gives a lot of perspectives in order to help you come up with your own.
Although the majority of the content focuses on a career path and how to 'break into the fashion industry', if you are able to read between the lines then the book is of use to everybody. It provides some invaluable fashion influences and general fashion knowledge to help guide and influence you in making fashion choices, whether you have a mild interest or a full blown passion for fashion. (I'm a poet and I don't know it!)
Not only does the book interview 'industry legends', such as Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Alexanda Wang, and Karl Lagerfield, just to name some of the 'big guns', the book also focuses on up and coming individuals; whether it be designers; models or photographers. They share their stories, and tips.
But the tips aren't just things we've all heard before; "Be yourself!" "Love what you do!" , as I was expecting. I was expecting a bit of a 'candy floss' book - pretty pictures and some typical advice, but not solid advice. However, much to my amazement I was proved incredibly wrong, with an abundance of real, helpful, advice provided throughout.
However, although the book advertises a free one year subscription to Teen Vogue, this is only to American readers. So if you're only interested in the free subscription and live in rainy old England, then you're unfortunately out of luck.
For the dead-hardened fashionista's out there who are eager to enter the fashion world, then I'm quite confident then this will become your fashion bible. If on the other hand, you, like me, have no life long dreams of becoming the next Anna Wintour or Cara Delegvingne, and simply have a mere interest in the fashion world, with a pursuit to look, and feel good, then this book is also for you. It's fun, chatty, informative and beautifully presented. For £10, what's really not to love?