Sunday, February 7, 2010

Del Russo, Dawn. 101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle: A Cheeky Book with Tidbits of Advice for a Glamorous Lifestyle.

With illustrations by Barbara Ann Scarrillo. BookSurge Publishing. 2009. 110p. illus. ISBN 978-1439256336. $14.99.

In this publication, Del Russo (Fashion Merchandising and Design, Parsons School of Design, 2002; B.S., Business Management, Wagner College, 2001; contributing fashion writer for select online magazines), an up-and-coming fashion stylist and founding owner of a successful, storefront and online, clothing and accessory boutique Bella Dawn, with the assistance of Scarrillo (Fashion Institute of Technology; Owner, Brushstrokes), a graphic designer from New York City with over twenty years experience, provides a pocket-sized, guide book for women, who may be searching for budget friendly glamour and quick, easy ways to go beyond their everyday fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle routines. By means of 101 tips, each of which is boldly-presented and colorfully-illustrated on a separate page, the author sets forth practical and realistic advice that may have financial consequences. Covering clothing, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, hair, personal hygiene, self-presentation, health, body, mind, work, home, travel, entertainment, and more, Del Russo focuses on outward and inward aspects of glamour, thereby broadening the scope of the subject and suggesting that there is more to the topic. For the author, glamour is more than skin deep. It goes beyond appearances and constitutes a mindset and way of life. While many of Del Russo’s recommendations may relate partly to socially- and culturally-accepted standards of decorum and fashion—ex. Tip #23 Wear deodorant … (p. 31)—and others are not new but rather longstanding and true—ex. Tip #13 Find a little black, “‘must-have”’ dress …(p. 21)—most if not all her “tidbits” are original, to the extent that they combine fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle tips into unique statements. For example, on the subject of shoes, in Tip #42, Del Russo proclaims, “Slip into a pair of designer pumps. … Every girl should own at least one pair, right?” Yes, true, probably every “girl” or woman should own a pair of pumps, a well-known, widely-disseminated fashion principle. Del Russo further implies by the wording of Tip #42 that if you can not afford to own more than one pair of pumps, than at least buy a designer brand. The author believes quality matters and it usually is an excellent indicator of beauty and style, although not the only factor. For all women, but particularly for younger, single women, who may be “home alone on a Friday night” and more able to “dress red carpet style” (Tip #69, p.77) without a husband and/or children around, this well-presented, nicely-illustrated, unique, delightful, easy-to-read book serves as a useful, fun, beauty guide. While it is not comprehensive, it may serve as a good, first start for many women, who may need a little fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle help to move beyond the everyday. A great personal gift, it also belongs in some public libraries as a complimentary, fashion, beauty, and/or lifestyle resource as well as an enjoyable read. Recommended. Review copy., Bella