'Project Runway's' Nina Garcia offers fashion inspiration, advice
If the little black dress is an essential for every closet, "The Little Black Book of Style," by Nina Garcia, might be right at home on every bookshelf.
Garcia, fashion editor of Elle magazine and judge on Bravo TV's "Project Runway," was at Natick Collection's Nordstrom store Tuesday for an invitation-only event for Elle subscribers and Nordstrom cardholders. Guests received a copy of her book.
Garcia described the book as "Style 101" for the woman who "maybe knows about fashion or maybe knows nothing at all."
Garcia chatted with guests, signed books and posed for pictures. Several children attended the event, and she gave them special attention, including 11-year-old David Dines of Wayland, a budding fashion designer who brought his sketch book of designs to show.
Garcia's book -- sprinkled with inspiring quotes from such diverse sources as Albert Einstein, Aboriginal sayings and "The Catcher in The Rye" -- is lavishly illustrated by artist Ruben Toledo. Garcia chose illustrations for her book because fashion photographs might become dated.
'I'm a very big fan of Ruben Toledo," she said. "His illustrations are timeless."
Garcia spent her high school years at Dana Hall School in Wellesley. Several Dana Hall alumna from Garcia's graduating class were at the Nordstrom event. She received an undergraduate degree in liberal arts at Boston University. Years of fashion study in Europe and at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology followed her time in Boston. She now lives in New York.
After 10 years at Elle magazine, Garcia felt she had a lot of fashion expertise to share.
"I kept being asked by people (for advice). Something needed to be written," she said. "I also wanted to bring in my designer friends" who she described as the fairy godmothers and fathers of the fashion world -- heavy hitters such as Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, Vera Wang and Roberto Cavalli.
Garcia's most important tip? "Style is not about your age (or weight or height). ... It's about confidence. There are no rules. You don't need rules. The most stylish woman breaks 'the rules."'
Chapter one is titled "Be Your Own Muse," and she sets the stage for a full dose of positive energy. She writes, "Love yourself from the inside out and slowly but surely you will become comfortable ... and you will exude the kind of confidence that others admire."
Subsequent chapters contain information on the basics of a wardrobe; inspirations from movies, music and travel; insider tips and more.
Garcia feels fashion is far more accessible now than in the past.
"You no longer need to live in New York, you have the access (wherever you live). We actually can wear H&M, Target; they make these clothes available (to every budget)," she said.
"('Project Runway') has created more awareness about fashion. Fashion is fashionable right now."
Be confident and enjoy it.
"The Little Black Book of Style"
By Nina Garcia
144 pages, $17.95
-- MetroWest Daily News