As one who has enjoyed a lifetime of exploring style and learning about designers and the history of fashion, I found Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible to be a good resource on the basics of fashion history, classic style, current dos and don’ts, and how to assess your closet in order to put yourself in good fashion order.
If you are new to all things related to the fashion industry, designers, or understanding personal style, this book is a good beginner’s guide. It is filled with illustrations, pictures, interesting history and trivia, as well as details that represent many an era, a designer, a trend, and how, as in life, what goes around comes around. Who knew how many times the platform shoe would be considered the latest style!
Mr. Gunn has organized his table of contents by articles of attire and accessories, in the same manner as retailers once organized their stores’ departments. I was amused to find that Gunn’s table of contents is ordered by the way one might get dressed, beginning with underwear, and so on.
Mr. Gunn highlights a moment in the movie The Devil Wears Prada that relates to something I’ve always marveled at: the fact that every garment worn today has history and that history can run back years, centuries, or even longer! For example, there are stone carvings of a woman exercising in what is believed to be the first evidence of a sports bra, no less. What started out as a new design of its time has moved through the channels of high fashion and low fashion, from couture to retail to consignment and retro.
Mr. Gunn has a diverse and interesting background in the world of fashion, and he shares many of his experiences and opinions about what works and what doesn’t. His expertise is very up to the minute, and while this book is a valuable guide for today, it will also reflect well historically on our current styles in decades to come.
From the start, I wondered about “Bible” being used in the title—feeling it might be a bit over the top—but the book is directed to everyone, whether you prefer to spend a month’s salary on an outfit or you look and feel just wonderful in your nice looking daily uniform. Gunn is speaking to everyone.
In the last chapter, Gunn talks about shopping, and how to prepare for it. And when you choose something from the rack, seeing it on the hanger thinking I can’t wear that, Gunn tells you to just try it on and see. After all, that hanger looks nothing like you!
The book’s appendix contains worksheets to help you explore and understand your closet and wardrobe. It will help you organize, cull, and plan for that next shopping trip, by determining what to love and preserve, and what to leave behind.
Tim Gunn is an American fashion consultant and television personality. He was on the faculty of Parsons The New School for Design from 1982 to 2007 and chair of fashion design at the school from 2000 to 2007, after which he joined Liz Claiborne as its chief creative officer. He is well known on-air for the reality television program Project Runway and his spin-off show, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style. Mr. Gunn has authored three books in addition to this one—A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, Abrams, 2007, Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work, Gallery, 2010, and Shaken, Not Stirred, Gunn/ADSI 2011/Kindle.
Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet is available for pre-order on Amazon.