By Fareeha Qayoom
I like browsing the fashion section of Readings. Most of the books on display are usually coffee table variety though. However, sometimes, you do find books that you can get your reading teeth into. I found one book like that the other day. It’s called, “The Meaning of Sunglasses, And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable” by Hadley Freeman; Viking 2008 edition for PKR 350, Pages 234. Online at Amazon it’s being sold for $3.24.
Have you read The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce? If you have, you might like this book too. It’s an irreverent look at A to Z of fashion from Freeman’s eyes, (she’s the Deputy Fashion Editor at The Guardian). The book is arranged in short alphabetical passages starting from A – “Accessories: going to hell in a handbag,” to Y – “Yoga, Detoxes, and other euphemisms for exercise and diet.”
A must-read, it’s funny, it’s entertaining, and it’s wicked. Best of all, it’s not long winded; you can finish this book in couple of sittings max. There are many passages that are my favorite in the book. Here’s one excerpt (J for Jeans – The entire passage is from page 122 to 128). However, I am quoting only a brief excerpt here.
“JEANS: NOT AS BULLETPROOF AS THEY TELL YOU
Ah, bless the human species. No sooner does it find something pretty straightforward than it has to fuss with it, divesting it of many of its original charms. (See Classics with a twist)
And so it has been with jeans. We all know the story: once jeans were kind of cool in a James Dean way; then they were the favored uniform of the American tourist, who decided that wearing high-waisted, tapered trousers in bleached denim was a sure way to cut a fine figure. And then in the ‘90s, a clever little jeans label called Earl moved the waistband slightly lower, put a bit of stretch into the denim, and – wham, bam, your receipt’s in the bag, ma’am – jeans are suddenly the most flattering thing ever conceived in the history of civilization. New denim labels are launched every day with increasingly self important names (Citizens of Humanity, True Religion, 7 for all Mankind – I mean, I ask you) and reported in the fashion press with the kind of hushed excitement more suited to breaking news of the second coming of Christ. Designer jeans now easily cost over $300, making them more expensive than a lot of designer shoes. Yet their cost has not affected their popularity in the slightest, and, like handbags and cosmetics, they are increasingly one of the financial pillars of many fashion brands.
And so manufacturers, understandably, decided to milk this cash cow for all its worth, experimenting with every possible style, design, and color variation they could possibly imagine in order to convince customers to buy more, more, More! Thus, what was once an easy basic became a fraught style statement with its own internal fashion trends.”
You can also buy the downloadable version over the net for $12.99 at Diesel eBook Store. ■