Tag Archives: book reviews

Do’s and Don’ts by Vice

23 Sep

400 New Jokes from the Funniest Magazine Column to Ever Exist in the History of the Universe

You know those jokes that you know you shouldn’t laugh at but you can’t help yourself? Well, those are the kind of jokes that Vice Magazine specialises in. In every issue they run a column called Do’s and Don’ts in which they take photographs of unsuspecting people and write funny captions underneath. Apparently, “the first thing most people do when they pick up a copy of Vice is turn to the Do’s and Don’ts” and “they’ve become one of our most popular reads”.

So a la mode?

In just a few short words, Vice manage to completely take a photograph out of context and give it a hilarious new meaning. It’s really easy to flick through and you don’t need any prior knowledge of the magazine to totally understand the beauty of the column in just a few small page turns. This column is difficult to explain; it’s one of those you have to see. An example: a girl with lots of makeup on in rollerblades captioned with “she spent so long getting ready, she rolled over the line that separates ‘made up’ from ‘in drag’”. Most of the captions have some kind of joke about a person’s clothes, something that the Vice team say has “enduring possibilities”.

Uh-oh a la mode?

A few of the jokes go that smidge too far where you actually feel so bad for the poor, unknowing victim who will be amazed to see themselves in the Vice column!

A la Mode Appraisal: 9/10

Do’s and Don’ts is published by Canongate and will definitely tickle your coffee table for a reasonable £9.99. It’s quite thick and there are lots of captions per double page spread.

If you liked this, you may also like The World According to Vice by Vice.

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True Whit by Whitney Port

23 Sep


Deisnging a life of Style, Beauty and Fun with Sheryl Berk

 

Welcome to the world of Whitney Port. She was part of two of MTV’s most successful reality TV shows, The Hills and The City, and has since become a style icon through launching her very own fashion line Whitney Eve. In her first book, Whitney aims to use her life experience to enlighten young ladies who are starting to find their feet in the real world. “What I wanted to create was a guidebook, so to speak, to starting out in your twenties. It’s your time to shine, to dig deep and discover who you are.”

 

So a la mode?

 

Whitney goes down to every little detail when offering advice on how to get your life in order. Using specific family recipes and detailing things such as what her personal fitness regime consists of make it lots easier for us to dabble in her routine and see how it works. She also gives tips on how we can channel her eclectic style, from encouraging shopping in charity shops to identifying specific hair types and using that information to explain how each hair type can be styled to emulate her own locks. Every base is covered, from how to deal with a difficult co-worker to how to impress on a first date.

 

Uh-oh a la mode?

 

One thing that did disappoint me as an avid fan of The Hills and The City was that lots of her personal experiences draw from things we’ve already seen on the show. I was hoping that in purchasing the book I’d hear a different side of the story than what I’d already watched, but advice seemed based on things we already knew – e.g. relationship advice based on her relationship with Jay or work advice based on her time with Olivia. Maybe next time if Whitney could give us a little spoiler of all the things we had missed then the read would be a little juicier!

 

All in all a brilliant guide for a young girl – I’d especially recommend it to anyone who has just moved away from home, for example a University student or a new graduate.

 

A la Mode Appraisal: 8/10 – more secrets next time please, Whitney!

 

True Whit is published by Aurum Press and will help every young lady in her search for herself at a very reasonable £14.99.

 

If you liked this book, you may also like Style by Lauren Conrad.

Style Yourself, Inspirational Advice from the World’s Hottest Fashion Bloggers

13 Jun

Foreword by Jane Aldridge

Since the internet was launched, fashion bloggers have taken the web by storm and created an infectious network. Perfect for supporting those in need of fashion inspiration and daring readers to explore the endless possibilities within their wardrobes, there are tons of style writers all over the world uploading invaluable fashion content every day. Now, 95 of the best bloggers, from the UK to Japan, from the USA to Norway, have joined forces to compile the ultimate guide in personal style.

In a guide that is both logical and whimsical, bloggers give their advice on all wardrobe essentials. The book begins with a guide to which  items specifically should make up your wardrobe, e.g. number of skirts, tops and shoes, and then as it continues each garment is evaluated in meticulous details. Styles and shapes for each piece are explored and suggestions are made as to which variety of each garment is most suited to each individual. Throughout this process, bloggers sprinkle in their in-depth features on how to style a particular part of your wardrobe. Whether you’re after some advice on which colour suits you best, what trousers accentuate your shape or what kind of purse will compliment your earrings, this book is not to be missed. The balance between creating attainable concepts and outlandish collaborations is incredibly refreshing.

For a glimpse at some of the contributors personal blogs, why not visit some of the following websites?

Susie Lau from London, England
Style Bubble

Carolina Engman from Stockholm, Sweden
Fashion Squad

Funeka Ngwevela from Johannesburg, South Africa
Quirky Stylista

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Style Yourself is published by Apple Press and will inspire you to play with your wardrobe for just £14.99.

If you liked this you may also like Style Diaries by Simone Werle.

Style Book by Elizabeth Walker

12 Jun

Fashionable Inspirations

Have you ever heard the expression “one picture is worth ten thousand words”? This is the sentiment that Elizabeth Walker uses to open her Style Book. When unveiling the truth behind her fashion inspirations, she takes photographs from all eras, locations and social situations to compile a “remarkable insight into the progression of fashion”.

Consisting of over 400 pages of photographs, Walker uses kitsch categories to divide her images into miniature style journeys. With chapters such as ‘Divine in Denim’, ‘Attention to Detail’ and ‘Button Up’, single fashion concepts are expanded upon and visited from film sets to sidewalks. A small caption is provided underneath each photo to provide an opinion, a story and details of the year it was taken.

Although famous faces such as Audrey Hepburn, Joanna Lumley and Twiggy crop up among the photographs, Walker uses lots of faceless fashionistas to “juxtapose” fashion moments from over the years. She is true to her claim that “from flowers to furs, from pearls to pools, there are all things here for all folk”. Despite being a beautiful book to flick through,  my criticism would be that I couldn’t help but yearn for more insight as to why exactly Walker had found these images to be inspirational.

A la Mode Appraisal: 7/10 – a wonderful collection of photographs, but perhaps a lower price tag would have been more suited.

Style Book is published by Endeavour publishers and will inspire your wardrobe for £20.00.

If you liked this, you may also like New Club Kids by Oggy Yordanov.

(Please note: the images used in this review have not been taken directly from the book.)

Street Art Contemporary Prints by Riikka Kuittinen

17 Jan

Perception is one of the most fascinating notions, particularly when related to art. Differences in perception can lead to so many varying interpretations of a piece of art. Riikka draws upon this sentiment at the beginning of Street Art and reminds us to consider that the very phenomenon that we are reading about was once perceived by some as nothing more than graffiti. For this reason, Riikka leaves personal interpretations to a minimum and instead chooses to allow the prints themselves to speak to each individual reader accordingly.

Compiled using street art prints that have been collected by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the book is mainly a visual guide to street art highlights from all over the world. Prints are celebrated as an “affordable and democratic medium” and the ability to spread such art on a large scale is a point of discussion, “it is no coincidence that the escalators of the London Underground are a popular site for street-art stickers”. Artists such as Banksy, Sweet Toof and Evoker provide examples of art forms from screen prints to stickers and therefore take art from places such as the back of a skateboard to a theatre installation. The collection is punctuated with small explanatory sections and divided in accordance with topics of focus. Rather than giving extended detail on artists in particular, areas such as ‘Politics and Propaganda’ are presented with examples of established artists. The words in the book are not perhaps as important as the visuals and it seems that to engage with the art is the main task at hand when reading. Street Art itself is covered with a paper print of ‘Time Waits for No Man’ by Kerry Roper for the reader to enjoy at their own leisure.

My favourite piece was ‘CMYK’ by Blu.

Concluded with a small paragraph about each featured artist and details of websites to look to for more street art inspiration, this book would be a lovely addition either to an art fanatic’s book shelf or those who are looking to begin their street art education.

A la Mode Appraisal: 7/10

Street Art Contemporary Prints is published by V&A Publishing and will amuse and bemuse you for £14.99.

If you liked this you may also like 1000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art by Christian Campos.