Book Review

22 05 2009

The Classic Ten – The true story of the little black dress and nine other fashion favourites by Nancy Macdonell Smith.


There is something electric and exciting about the mutability of fashion; its changing trends ebb and flow like the tide. It is however, the true “classics” that become symbols of personal taste and enduring style. The little black dress, the white shirt, the cashmere sweater, blue jeans, the suit, high heels, pearls, lipstick, sneakers and the trench coast are the quintessential items that every woman needs to have in her wardrobe if she is to appear effortlessly chic.


Nancy Macdonell, journalist for The New York Times, American Harper’s Bazaar and Wallpaper, explores these classic ten items from their genesis to their iconic status using examples from film, literature, biographies and magazines.  It is strange though that sneakers made the list, this could be a reflection of the book’s American heritage. Apart from this one questionable inclusion in the exclusive list of all that is classic, Nancy writes with poignant insight, sharp wit and persuasiveness.


For the woman of the world it is a comfort to have access to a book that re-affirms the timelessness of style. In the fast-paced and forever changing fashion-world sometimes it’s a god-send when you can wear a black cashmere turtleneck and a trench and know you have got it just right; you might not reflect the fashion trend of the moment, you will however transcend it.




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