Category Archives: Fashion

Six fabulous fashion titles to get you out of track pants

It was fun in the beginning way back at the start of 2020, to wear super comfy clothes, or only dress the top half of our bodies ready for endless zoom meetings. But now, a year on, and while we are still staying safe at home, pulling on trackies or leggings when we aren’t actually exercising is turning a little sloth-like, possibly making us a little sluggish and less like we can take on the world. Fear not, Team Booko has rustled up a few fabulous books that will inspire you to dust off the wardrobe and dress like you mean business or at least feel like your old self again. 

Get the iron at the ready because you may just fancy getting dressed after reading about these titles… don’t worry, you can still keep your slippers on.

The Little Guide to Coco Chanel Style by Orange Hippo

This little guide is full of wit and wisdom from Coco Chanel, who remains one of the world’s most celebrated fashion designers and the creative genius who gave us the Little Black Dress and Chanel No. 5. Almost 50 years after her death, Coco Chanel remains one of the world’s most influential fashion designers. Her story is one of creative brilliance and innovation, she was a driving force in freeing women from the restrictive clothing they had been obliged to wear for generations. ‘In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different,’ Chanel would say, and throughout her life she demonstrated extraordinary passion and determination to change the world around her. There is much wisdom to glean from Chanel’s self-reflections, while her sharp wit and joie de vivre will amuse, surprise and inspire in equal measure. 

Vivienne Westwood Catwalk: The Complete Collections by Alexander Fury

One of the most thought-provoking and influential designers in the world, Vivienne Westwood once declared ‘the only reason I’m in fashion is to destroy the word “conformity”’. Vivienne Westwood has been reinventing, changing and challenging the world of fashion for over five decades. Celebrating 40 years of catwalk collections, this book records the inimitable creations imagined by Vivienne Westwood since her first runway show in 1981, as well as those designed by her husband and long-time collaborator, Andreas Kronthaler. Complete with an introduction and collection texts by Alexander Fury, and biographies written by the designers themselves, Vivienne Westwood Catwalk offers a rare opportunity to chart the development of a uniquely creative fashion house. This book offers an unrivalled overview of the collections of the world’s top fashion houses through original catwalk photography.

The Fashion Yearbook 2021: Best of Campaigns, Editorials and Covers by Julia Zirpel

The international fashion world is not only a hotbed of creativity, but also a fast-moving and mercurial one. This book cherry-picks some of the most intriguing editorials, covers and campaigns of 2020 and places them within the zeitgeist. In a year in which the carpet was swept out from under us, the sudden loss of stability also gave rise to new creativity, freedom, and surprise as fashion magazines began taking a more active political stance. Presented here in detail are the inspiring minds of photographers, stylists, models, and editors behind this sudden change in paradigm.

This compilation was selected by an international jury of 12 that includes Ariel Foxman, former Editor-in-Chief of InStyle, Donald Schneider, former art director of French Vogue and creative mind of the H&M designer collaborations, Sara Maino, Deputy Director of Vogue Italia and head of Vogue Talents, and street-style icon and influencer Veronika Heilbrunner. The Fashion Yearbook 2021 is a précis of the protagonists behind the scenes in an impressive illustrated book.

Clothes… and other things that matter by Alexandra Shulman

Clothes…and other things that matter is a book not only about clothes but about the way we live our lives. From childhood onwards, the way we dress is a result of our personal history. In a mix of memoir, fashion history and social observation. Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress. From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women’s lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity. It’s funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and often very moving; this startlingly honest memoir from the ex-editor of British Vogue will encourage women of all ages to consider what their own clothes mean to them, the life they live in them and the stories they tell.

The Ten: The stories behind the fashion classics by Lauren Cochrane

White T-shirt, Miniskirt, Hoodie, Jeans, Ballet flat, Breton top, Biker jacket, Little black dress, Stiletto, Trench. What are you wearing? In all likelihood, your outfit will feature at least one of these 10 items (paired with either trackpants or leggings while we stay safe at home). Familiar, commonplace, ubiquitous – each piece has become an emblem of a certain style, carrying its own connotations and historical significance. They aren’t just clothes, our social history is contained within these perfect 10 pieces. They’re vessels that hold the history of style, politics and identity: while trends may come and go, these are here to stay. The Ten includes deep dive explorations into each item’s history, how it gained its reputation, and what it means today, accompanied by stylish photography and illustrations. Stories of iconic adopters and landmarks in the story of each piece reveal how they have achieved their status as so ubiquitous and yet so extraordinary. From the evolution of the white T-shirt from army staple to symbol of achingly cool simplicity, the hoodie’s birth in the monasteries of Rome to its domination of streetwear, and the transition of the stiletto from the feet of fifteenth-century Iranian equestrians to those of New York businesswomen, The Ten puts fashion in context. Showing how certain pieces are just as ubiquitous on the catwalk as on the street, Lauren Cochrane’s crucial volume defines the fashion items that make up your wardrobe, and how they got there, providing the perfect excuse, a pedigree, a narrative, and a realness, for the reader to wear them time and time again.

How To Break Up With Fast Fashion: A guilt-free guide to changing the way you shop for good by Lauren Bravo

You probably know the statistics: global clothing production has roughly doubled in just 15 years, and every year an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing ends up in landfill in the UK alone. In Australia we consume an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and dispose an average 23 kilograms of that to landfill. Fast fashion is the ultimate toxic relationship. It’s bad news for the planet, our brains and our bank balances. We can’t go on like this; our shopping habits need an overhaul. Journalist Lauren Bravo loves clothes more than anything, but she’s called time on her affair with fast fashion in search of a slower, saner way of dressing. In this book, she’ll help you do the same. How To Break Up With Fast Fashion will help you to change your mindset, fall back in love with your wardrobe and embrace more sustainable ways of shopping, from the clothes swap to the charity shop. Full of refreshing honesty and realistic advice, Lauren will inspire you to repair, recycle and give your unloved items a new lease of life without sacrificing your style. Because fashion belongs to everyone, but no outfit should cost us the earth.

Enjoy!

Winter reads that we are super excited about – 6 books to preorder now

The mornings are becoming rather brisk and the sun is starting to set a little earlier which means winter is well and truly on its way. There is nothing we enjoy more in winter than creating a cosy spot to sit at home with a great book and a warm cup of tea. There’s just something magical, and totally expected,  about snuggling up with a book and shutting off the world for a few hours. We have rustled up six brilliant titles that we are super excited to add to our winter reading pile. 

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale, from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets, to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

Julia Morris makes it easy by Julia Morris

Julia Morris Makes it easy is hilariously half-baked life advice from yet another deluded celebrity.  Welcome to Julia Morris’s immaculately conceived EASY system: a crackpot satire on celebrity self-help culture. Julia will help you figure out the stuff you don’t need to do, cut down on the crapola you’ve decided you don’t want to do, make the stuff you absolutely have to do a breeze, and ensure you enjoy the whole lot. Brace yourself for a deluge of slacker life hacks, nice-but-not-very-bright advice and life-changing inspiration on: Making It All About You, Getting Shallow, The Importance of Always Proving Your Point, The Joy of Ex-cuses, Achieving Blind Self-confidence, How to (Not) Get Shit Done, Judging Others, The Power of Negative Thinking, The Zero Habits of Highly Ineffective People, How to Say Yes, Then Cancel, Complaining and Comsplaining. Disclaimer: if you think this book is going to be like other celebrity self-help books, think again.

Semi Gloss: Magazines, motherhood and misadventures in having it all by Justine Cullen

This is not a self-help book, a memoir, or the Australian Devil Wears Prada. In her collection of autobiographical essays, Justine Cullen takes us on a journey of motherhood, (mis) adventures and mayhem in a hilariously candid exploration of her life’s achievements and all the mistakes she made to get there. Semi-Gloss is an intimate, sharp and witty look of a woman who from the outside looks like she has it all together, the job, the partner, the house, the kids, when in reality she has come to the conclusion that your forties is the decade when you finally realise beyond all doubt that all you know for sure is that you know literally nothing at all.

Yearbook by Seth Rogen

Yearbook comes with the best blurb on the internet so we are going to insert it here and let Seth describe the book himself…

Yearbook is a collection of funny personal essays from one of the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express and one of the producers of The Disaster Artist, Neighbors, and The Boys. (All of these words have been added to help this book show up in people’s searches using the wonders of algorithmic technology. Thanks for bearing with us!) Hi! I’m Seth! I was asked to describe my book, Yearbook, for the inside flap (which is a gross phrase) and for websites and shit like that, so… here it goes!!! Yearbook is a collection of true stories that I desperately hope are just funny at worst, and life-changingly amazing at best. (I understand that it’s likely the former, which is a fancy “book” way of saying “the first one.”) I talk about my grandparents, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, bar mitzvahs, and Jewish summer camp, and tell way more stories about doing drugs than my mother would like. I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day. I hope you enjoy the book should you buy it, and if you don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry. If you ever see me on the street and explain the situation, I’ll do my best to make it up to you.

In My Defence, I Have No Defence by Sinead Stubbins

Sinead Stubbins has always known that there was a better version of herself lying just outside of her grasp. That if she listened to the right song or won the right (any) award or knew about whisky or followed the right Instagram psychologist or drank kombucha, ever, or enacted the correct 70-step Korean skincare regime, she would become her ‘best self’. In My Defence, I Have No Defence raises the white flag on trying to live up to impossible standards. Wild and funny and wickedly relatable, it is one woman’s reckoning with her complete inability to self-improve and a hilarious reprieve for anyone who has ever struggled to be better. This is the comfort read of the year from Australia’s most exciting new comedy writer.

No One Listens to Your Dad’s Show by Christian O’Connell

As a radio DJ in London, Christian O’Connell looked like he had it all. He held the No.1 spot nationally, and had a faithful audience of millions who’d listened to him for years. Celebrities flocked to come on his show, and his quirky, funny, honest format was studied, dissected and imitated by a host of rivals. But not everything was as it looked. Christian was struggling with where his life was going. A series of panic attacks, a close encounter with a rubbish bin and a full-blown mid-life crisis forced him into a life-changing decision. He was going to quit his job, and travel to the other side of the world where absolute no-one knew him, and take on the toughest radio market in the world – Australia. No-one Listens to Your Dad’s Show is the hilarious, revealing and surprisingly moving story of what happens when Christian risks everything by uprooting his wife, two teenage daughters and his dog to move to Australia. A complete unknown in a country where, he soon finds out, no-one wants to hear him on the radio.


Enjoy!

Learning from Australian Businesses: inspiring business books on the market

There are so many fascinating and inspiring stories that sit behind brand names and company banners. Today’s pick of Australian businesses offer us an insight into the world of fashion, food waste, landscaping and going out on your own. Each business took courage, determination and a leap of faith.

There’s a renegade in all of us, sometimes it’s just a matter of letting that voice be heard. Make yourself a cuppa and get ready to be inspired. 

A Repurposed Life by Ronni Kahn & Jessica Chapnik Kahn

Life throws us mysterious ingredients. If we are brave enough to put the recipe aside and experiment, it’s right there that things get interesting. As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life. Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies. A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.

Jim’s Book:The Surprising Story of Jim Penman Australia’s Backyard Millionaire by Catherine Moolenschot

We all know Jim’s. Maybe you just passed a Jim’s Mowing trailer on the road; or maybe there’s a Jim’s Cleaning van parked across the street each Tuesday morning; or maybe your best mate is laughing all the way to the bank after quitting the city and starting his new Jim’s Fencing franchise, but do you know the real story behind the Jim’s Group and its founder, Jim Penman? Brutally efficient, socially awkward, and a tireless perfectionist, Jim is as complex and fascinating as the Jim’s Group. This book is a warts-and-all look at his colourful life that delves deep into how he ignored conventional thinking to turn a few mowing rounds into a corporate juggernaut built on always putting the customer first. Jim’s unique approach revolutionised Australia’s business landscape, providing thousands of people the opportunity to create and grow their own businesses. Most Australians know very little about the man who created one of the nation’s most famous companies. For all of his success, Jim is remarkably unassuming and approachable. In this authorised biography, author Catherine Moolenschot sat down with Jim and over one hundred people who know him, from franchisees and franchisors, to family, friends, and adversaries, to get up close and personal with the surprising story of one of Australia’s biggest brands and the man who made it all happen. Jim’s Book tells the fascinating story of the man and the business that bears his name. Equal parts biography, history and philosophy, this book takes readers on a journey through one man’s remarkable life.

Kiwi: The Australian Brand that Brought a Shine to the World by Keith Dunstan

You probably have a tin of shoe polish tucked under the laundry sink bearing the little bird logo that has been in homes around the globe for over a century. Founded in Melbourne by William Ramsay in 1906, Kiwi is one of the most iconic and enduring international brands ever to have come out of Australia. One of Australia’s best-loved journalists, Keith Dunstan tells the remarkable story of the Ramsay family and how they created and nurtured the Kiwi brand. Always quick to seize a marketing opportunity, the Ramsays sent Kiwi to England with the Anzacs in World War I, putting a brilliant shine on belts, bridles and leggings as well as boots. Soon there was a Kiwi factory in London, and in time Kiwi ran 24 factories worldwide, selling more than 250 million cans of shoe polish annually.In his inimitable warm and chatty style, Dunstan follows the fortunes of the Ramsay family as they built the Kiwi brand over the decades: business decisions good and bad, grand houses, the latest cars, constant travel, and their marriages, quarrels and friendships. He also tracks the clever advertising strategies that kept Kiwi in the public mind, including the notorious sign that caused traffic accidents in Richmond in the 1960s. Richly illustrated in full colour, Kiwi is the fascinating inside story of one of Australia’s great families, as well as one of its great brands.

Chapter One by Daniel Flynn

The world probably doesn’t need another book. However, Chapter One is more than a book. It’s an invitation. And it’s addressed to you. To inspire you to challenge everything, to remind you that you can turn ideas into reality and to present you the opportunity to be part of bold idea that could change the course of history. Chapter One is the story of three kids from Melbourne, Australia with zero experience in business who had an idea and the crazy belief that we all have the power to change stuff. It started with the World Water Crisis (and how to end it) but has developed into an award-winning consumer goods brand that empowers millions of people to fight poverty with every munch of muesli, sip of water or pump of hand wash. And that’s just the beginning. This is the story of epic proportions by Thankyou co-founder Daniel Flynn about Thankyou’s gut-wrenching decisions, wild mistakes and daring moves in business, marketing and social enterprise so far. You’ll laugh at their boldness, cry at their failings and be inspired by their determination. But more than that, you’ll understand that, no matter your walk of life, you too have the power to change stuff.

Butterfly on a Pin: A memoir of love, despair and reinvention by Alannah Hill

Unflinching, funny, shocking, inspiring and tender: this is a story like no other. Alannah Hill, one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers, created an international fashion brand that defied trends with ornamental, sophisticated elegance, beads, bows and vintage florals. But growing up in a milk bar in Tasmania, Alannah’s childhood was one of hardship, fear and abuse. At an early age she ran away from home with eight suitcases of costumes and a fierce determination to succeed, haunted by her mother’s refrain of ‘You’ll never amount to anything, you can’t sew, nobody likes you and you’re going to end up in a shallow grave, dear!’ At the height of her success, Alannah walked the razor’s edge between two identities; ‘the good’ Alannah and the `mongrel bastard’ Alannah. Who was the real Alannah Hill? Reprieve came in the form of a baby boy and the realisation that becoming a mother not only changes your life, but completely refurbishes it, forever. Yet ‘having it all’ turned out to be another illusion. In 2013 Alannah walked away from her eponymous brand, a departure that left her coming apart at the seams. She slowly came to understand the only way she could move forward was to go back. At the heart of it all was her mother, whose loveless marriage and disappointment in life had a powerful and long-lasting effect on her daughter. It was finally time to call a truce with the past. This extraordinary book is the fierce and intelligent account of how a freckle-faced teenage runaway metamorphosed into a trailblazer and true original.

Winging It: Stop Thinking, Start Doing: Why Action Beats Planning Every Time by Emma Isaacs

CEO and entrepreneur Emma Isaacs forgot to draw up her life plan, and she doesn’t have a list of five-year goals. She doesn’t believe in work/life balance – after all she has five children and heads up Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women. Like Sheryl Sandberg, who told us to ‘lean in’ to find success, Emma wants to show us that you can’t plan every detail and wait for the confidence to kick in before you begin; instead, take action now, do what feels right and figure the rest out as you go along. In other words, you’ve got to learn how to ‘wing it’ rather than wait. Drawing on her own life and the stories of the many men and women she has met and interviewed – from Sir Richard Branson to Bill Gates to Girlboss Sophia Amoruso – Emma tells us how to: * Turn a dream into a job * Turn a job into a business * Network like a champion * Protect your time for the things that matter * Get fired up not ground down by the kids/career juggle, and * Understand that sometimes failure is part of the brief. Emma shows us that often the only thing holding us back is ourselves; that you can follow your dreams; and that there’s no reason not to start doing so right now.

Enjoy!