Thursday, May 1, 2014

Top May Style Reads: 5th Avenue & Rachel Zoe

For a large dose of style and fashion, take these two books....
Fifth Ave. NYC I found these two books to be absolutely essential reading for an easy Saturday morning in bed. The first, Fifth Ave. Style by Howard Slatkin who is an interior designer, shows before and after photos of apartments and residences which have been gutted and gloriously renovated. Very current examples can be seen in the pages of this Vendrome Press book, copyright 2013. This substantial coffee table book gives you a glimpse of how the Vandervilts furnished their residences including their 5th Ave. apartments and The Breakers in Newport Rhode Island. 

Sitting room with rare Isfahan carpet.
One of the things that impressed me about this book are the gorgeous glass and exquisite pottery collections that decorate most if not all of the rooms. As my background is in Pharmacy, I have a vast collection of apothecary jars and vases which I keep in my China Closet and out on display. I also use them in photo shoots and in my books to add interest and dimension to the copy.

One of my apothecary jars "Gum Acacia" being used in a shoot.
This just shows that you can start with a modest collection of glass or stoneware, whatever you like really. This book will give you lots of ideas for your own home or office space. Some may find the looks to be a bit stuffy (or stuffed!) but that's the way the European aristocracy decorate their homes. Filled to the rafters with treasured collections and antiques.  I LIKE IT! I actually grew up in a 200 year old Victorian house with stained glass windows and exposed Tudor beams in the dining room, French Glass doors and wood parqueted floors. If you grew up with that then all the "clutter" is quite normal! 

Living in Style by Rachel Zoe
Published by Hachette Book Group, this is Rachel's most recent 2014 offering on her own particular inspiration and advice for everyday glamour. Rachel Zoe is a designer and stylist to the stars but also a New York Times bestselling author of Style A to Zoe.
Rachel in Paris.
Rachel's custom gowns have graced Karolina Kurkova at the Met Gala as well as the runway at the past Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC. Her book, Living in Style offers a glimpse into her lifestyle as a fashion designer and stylist with vintage photos of other fashionistas like Bianca Jagger, Sophia Loren and Eva Mendes to name only a few. She has real working tips on organizing your walk in closet (I need this!), managing your shoe collection and locking in your own personal style.

There are lots of photos of Rachel traveling to exotic hot spots but I wish that she had included a section on how to pack for such trips and even shorter hops. The book itself is very entertaining and you can't help but come away with some fashion ideas. Zoe encourages you to rock your own unique style and OWN IT. I'm all for that! Rachel has earned her place as the style guru of our time so definitely check out this book. Both titles are aspirational reads so even if this style does not entirely fit your current living situation, you can most certainly apply elements of each.

The Breakers - Vanderbilt Cottage in Newport Rhode Island

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