A Year of Style

A Year of Style

5.0 3
by Frederic Fekkai, Tara Sgroi
     
 
Why has Frédéric Fekkai become one of the most sought after stylists in the world? It's not only his subtly sexy and carefree haircuts; his devoted clients have come to treasure his unerring advice on everything from the perfect handbag to menus for entertaining as much as his skill with scissors. Now every woman can realize Frédéric

Overview

Why has Frédéric Fekkai become one of the most sought after stylists in the world? It's not only his subtly sexy and carefree haircuts; his devoted clients have come to treasure his unerring advice on everything from the perfect handbag to menus for entertaining as much as his skill with scissors. Now every woman can realize Frédéric Fekkai's vision of complete beauty with this unique handbook, a guide to achieving a more simple, natural, and chic lifestyle every single day.

Unlike any other beauty or style guide, Frédéric Fekkai A Year of Style acknowledges that a woman's look is constantly changing with the season, with fashions, and as her own lifestyle evolves. Frédéric Fekkai A Year of Style works like a daybook, offering twelve chapters packed with advice for living life more beautifully — plus a special style note for each day of the year. Each chapter explores the beauty priorities for a different month, whether it's making a fresh start in January, reinvigorating the body and mind in April, or celebrating the holiday season in December. June offers insights on bridal beauty and grooming for men, while September looks at the best cuts for kids and cultivating a sophisticated yet natural career look. Throughout, you'll discover sections on such beauty essentials as choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses and trimming bangs between salon visits. And because Frédéric believes style applies to every aspect of your life, there are also tips on packing for a tropical getaway, establishing a rewarding exercise routine, and choosing the perfect holiday gift.

FrédéricFekkai knows style is more than what a women gets at the makeup counter or in a salon; it's the small choices she makes each day, from which lipstick color to wear to how she holds her handbag. In Frédéric Fekkai A Year of Style, he offers a head-to-toe guide to achieving the look he's renowned for: effortless elegance throughout the seasons.



Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780609605035
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/24/2000
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 9.35(h) x 1.07(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Natural. Effortless. Chic. These words are music to my ears. They evoke the very essence of a style that's both simple and elegant. I believe that if you know how to be simple--with your hair, your makeup, your clothes, your lifestyle--you can do anything you want, and never go wrong.

Style is not about age, or height, or weight--it's about a sense of ease, a sense of dignity, and a sense of individuality shining through. The elegant women of my childhood in Provence would dress and style themselves the same way, whether they were young or old. Simplicity is the key to that style, that effortless chic.

So, if I had to describe this book, I would say it's a month-by-month guide to simplicity. But simplicity, of course, is not as easy as it sounds. Take Picasso, for instance. At the end of his life, his work was simple, almost childlike. He could never have done what he did, though, without his classical training, which taught him to observe nature and draw from it. It is the same thing with style. First you have to learn to observe. To notice details. To interpret what you see.

I learned to observe by sitting at the terrace of the famous Deux Garçons café in Aix-en-Provence, my hometown in the South of France. Because Aix is a small yet spirited city, watching its street life is a fascinating spectacle. To this day, I am still spellbound by its colors, its movements, and its sounds--and by the way the beautiful sunlight exalts the shape and texture of almost everything.

I often wondered why Aix is considered one of the most style-conscious towns in France. Is it its glorious medieval past? Its superb 17th- and18th-century architecture? Its intellectual life centered around its chic university? Its famous music festival? Keep guessing. Though Aix richly deserves its ten pages in the Michelin guide, there is more to it than just sightseeing. Recently, I came to the conclusion that Aix is unique because, though sophisticated, the town is not alienated from nature.

Sunshine, tall trees, flowers, and countless fountains babbling on shaded squares bring nature right into the heart of this busy city. At every turn, century-old plane trees line up the avenues. Its main street, the famous Cours Mirabeau, has no less than four rows of these gigantic trees. Ancient fountains in the middle of the street slow down traffic. In the dappled light of this majestic boulevard--a green tunnel, really--people wander up and down the wide sidewalks. To take in the sights and enjoy the serenity of this natural setting, they eventually stop at one of the many terrace cafés, where they linger for hours in front of a citron pressé or a pastis.

The appreciation of nature teaches us to have style because it gives us a gentler, wiser, and more poetic view of the world. I noticed that men and women who have style are often people who are in contact with nature. It never fails: In the course of a casual conversation with some quietly stylish people, I usually discover that they are passionate about gardening, sailing, or horse breeding--or that they are experts in forestry, landscaping, geology, kayaking, rock climbing, flower arrangements, you name it.

Last summer, I was introduced to a wealthy man who lives part of the year in Saint-Tropez. We began to chat, and he took me outside to show me his field of olive trees. Proudly, he began to explain to me in great detail how his trees establish their root system, why their wood is resistant to decay, and when is the best time to harvest their olives. While he spoke, I was watching him: He wore light canvas slacks, a blue plaid cotton shirt, a pair of espadrilles, and a straw hat. There was not a single designer label or brand name on his clothes. I suddenly realized that he had incredible style, not because he was wealthy and could afford to dress well, but because he cared about his trees.

Simply put, this is the ultimate secret of style: Be natural. Don't go against nature--your nature. Don't deny it--work with it. You cannot force things to be what they aren't. From the way you smile to the way you walk, dress, eat, or talk, be authentic. Stay away from what's artificial. I know for a fact that, even more than so-called good taste, what you need to have style is a nature-inspired and unpretentious way of looking at things.



A Year's Worth of Style

Style is natural but never static. In this book, chapters go month by month, and the calendar moves day by day, to reflect the spirit of the kind of adjustments that will keep your personal style fresh and alive. I suggest you welcome each new season with a ritual of your own. Make bouquets of seasonal flowers. Reorganize your closet. Throw away old shoes. Buy a new lipstick. Eat vegetables grown locally. Take a slow drive down your favorite country road.

In Provence, people eat food and wear clothes that celebrate the season--and by the season I mean the specific month. The cherries for clafoutis are incredible in June--sweet, sour, tingling with flavor, so that's when we eat them. In the heat of August, the linen sundresses and the cotton scarves come out, in colors--deep coral reds, rich cerulean blue--that stand up to the heat, that mimic its intensity.

I'd watch the women at the farmers' markets every week, and marvel at the little adjustments they made as the seasons came and went: A young girl who always put her hair up with a pair of chopsticks during the summer would use a pencil instead, once school started. The elegant mother of four who went everywhere with a huge, chic leather bag would change to a straw panier as summer approached. The man in my mother's favorite antique shop changed from thin khakis to jeans to corduroys as the Provençal winds got harsher and colder. The flowers at our favorite café changed every day: poppies, lavender, lilies.

Life is different now, in that we all travel everywhere, at any time of year. So the adjustments we make have to be quicker: You might have a two-week business trip that goes from Dallas to Seattle to Brussels to Miami. Fashion trends change faster, too. The key to staying stylish in the face of all these demands on your wardrobe and your schedule is to accentuate what's best about you. Instead of trying to keep up with the latest fashion, pick only the changes you like and have a ball.

Underneath it all, there needs to be a core of simplicity and even practicality behind those choices. Style is a few great things you can always depend on, from a slipdress that never fails to make you feel sexier and a pair of sunglasses that simply oozes sophistication and glamour, to lavender water sprayed on your sheets and pillow cases to make you sleep like a baby, to a recipe that instantly charms your guests. Remember: Style is just another word for what makes you feel better and what makes your life easier, month after month.


Meet the Author

A native of Aix-en-Provence, France, Frédéric Fekkai moved to the United States in 1982. He opened his first eponymous salon in 1989 and went on to establish Frédéric Fekkai Beauté de Provence salons in New York and Beverly Hills in 1997. His hair and skincare products, accessories, and home fragrances are now available nationwide in select department stores and Frédéric Fekkai boutiques. He lives in New York City.

Canadian-born photographer Tara Sgroi studied at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and Cooper Union in New York. Her portraits, still lifes, and location photography have appeared in numerous fashion and shelter magazines. Frédéric Fekkai A Year of Style is her first book; she lives in New York City.

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A Year of Style 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is like the fashion and beauty bible. Reading this book taught me many, many things. For example, learning to pamper myself more often and how to let my personality shine through what I wear. I would recommend this book to anyone, weather your a fashion editor or you've never worn makeup in your entire live. Anyone, even a fashion diva like I, could learn a few tips from this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is great! it has tons of useful information and tips/ideas corresponding to a certain month! this book is visually pleasing to look at and a joy to read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a client of Frederic's for over five years and someone who takes his advice as the absolute gospel, I highly recommend this book. It has great pampering appeal and makes you feel as if he is talking to you personally. It is not a book to read and then put away. It is truly a book to read every single day. He offers something for each day of the month. I now feel as if I am being pampered by Frederic every day, not just every six to eight weeks. A MUST HAVE!