Saturday, November 24, 2007

Just in Case You Didn't Know

In the Know: The Classic Guide to Being Cultured and Cool

Nancy MacDonell Smith explores the origins, meaning, and remarkable staying power of the ten staples of feminine fashion:

* the little black dress
* the white shirt
* the cashmere sweater
* blue jeans
* the suit
* high heels
* pearls
* lipstick
* sneakers
* the trench coat

Tracing the evolution of each item from inception to icon status, she reveals the history and social significance of each, from the black dress's associations with danger and death to the status implications of the classic white shirt. Incorporating sources from history, literature, magazines, and cinema, as well as her own witty anecdotes, Smith has created an engaging, informative guide to modern style.

From the publisher: There are still a few things money can’t buy. Love is one, cool is another. The good news is that cool isn’t inherent, it’s a code, and the code can be cracked. It’s all a matter of getting the right facts straight: Why is Jackson Pollock important? What handbag will get you upgraded at the airport? Who is Jacques Derrida and why does he matter? Like your smart, hip girlfriend with the book of Susan Sontag essays in her ChloĆ© bag, Nancy MacDonell has assembled in one entertaining, fact-filled volume everything you need to know to navigate life with style and flair.