Anatomy of Style (BEAUX LIVRES - LANGUE ANGLAISE)

Image of Anatomy of Style (Langue anglaise)
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
October 13, 2020
Publisher/Imprint: 
Flammarion
Pages: 
240
Reviewed by: 

While the title, Anatomy of Style, may be quite alluring and magnetic, the content of Sophie Gachet’s latest effort is somewhat questionable and certainly one not aimed at an audience of seasoned and educated fashionphiles given her cast of characters.

When the reader is almost at once greeted with a quote by Rachel Zoe, you quickly become keenly aware that this book is for a generation of wannabe influencers and neophyte fashion readers. Her reworded quote is “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” is a rehash of sentiments were spoken or written many decades before her by those who were far more qualified to speak to the subject.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” —Oscar Wilde

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.”Jean Cocteau

Style is just one of those things that cannot be taught; you either have it or you don’t, or, as Gachet conveniently omits, you get a stylist who molds your style as well as your signature look. The candidates selected for this photo laden tome are not exactly what one might consider trendsetters or even style icons, and yet Gachet suggests you “borrow” some of their style components and appropriate them for your personal style or signature look.

Unquestionably the style that Gachet speaks to is the style we see on Instagram and most certainly not the style that a seasoned reader associates with the terminology, hence you don’t see images of Babe Paley, Millicent Rogers, Pauline de Rothschild, or Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes and the like. Those who are served up as stylishly and fashionably envied are the likes of Celine Dion, Zendaya, Janelle Monae, Alexa Chung, and Hailey Baldwin. Clearly, we are seeing a millennial’s guide to dressing stylishly like your favorite paparazzi subject. That particular reader is not one who might recognize any of the aforementioned names who truly made style headlines.

Any fashion bible that places not one but two Kardashians as possible fashion leaders is operating from a completely different standpoint from other style volumes within the genre. Do not think this is wrong, since one’s style can never be wrong or right, but what might be said is that the standards of great style have been definitively diminished and lowered by the inclusion of so many of these so-called paragons of style.

This reader was  also quite vexed by the omission that so many of these women have personal stylists and that so many designers court them and give them the clothes in the hope that they will be photographed wearing the frocks, not to mention that in today’s fashion world it is not inconceivable that the “wearer” is paid to don the outfit or accessory in hopes of the same outcome.

Once again, the fashion veteran part of this reader is reminded that no matter how long you stand in a garage, you will not become a car!