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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
Frédéric Fekkai's style transcends fads. Instead of pushing fake eyelashes or teensy backpacks, he urges his readers to find a more natural, personal sense of style. "The appreciation of nature teaches us style because it gives us a gentler, wiser, and more poetic view of the world," Fekkai explains. "Style is a nature-inspired and unpretentious way of looking at things." In A Year of Style, a fresh guide to good taste, Fekkai helps us to cultivate this natural perspective by leading us through one year's seasonal changes. He helps us to notice the small shifts that each month brings and how we can celebrate those changes in our dress, homes, and lives.
Fekkai has long been recognized as one of the great stylists of our time. His salon, Frédéric Fekkai Beauté de Provence, draws a chic clientele in both Beverly Hills and New York City; world-class actresses like Salma Hayek, Hilary Swank, and Liv Tyler all owe their glamour to Fekkai's careful touches. But less showy folk also revel in his designs. In this, his newest book, Fekkai speaks to everyone who wants to feel comfortable and confident in her skin.
Fekkai offers each woman the kind of innate style he finds in his childhood home of Aix-en-Provence. There, he explains, beautiful women harmonize with the world by responding -- in their dress, their habits, and their meals -- to what is unique in each season. In January, for example, the stark, chill weather calls attention to beauty basics, like healthy skin and hair. The dreariness of April, on the other hand, needs to be counterbalanced with fun: exotic new spa treatments and hair masks. In the sticky heat of August, take a lazy vacation from rigorous couture by wearing only a sarong and sunscreen. In October, take up a brisk life again to match the brisk weather and enter the social whirl with energy. For Fekkai, every person can be beautiful in the way that every day can be beautiful.
Along with Fekkai's broad suggestions for celebrating the seasons, he also offers specific beauty hints. For dry skin and hair, Fekkai prescribes shea butter: "an ancient remedy that far surpasses anything scientists have devised." To clarify both skin and hair, try apple-cider vinegar: "Think of it as a wake-up tonic for your skin and hair, sort of the way you'd do a juice fast for your body." Always, Fekkai presses his readers to opt for the simplest ways to care for themselves. To enjoy our bodies fully, we don't need to expend time and money on surgeries, Fekkai insists. We need only find simple, useful solutions that can vary with each season's mood.
In A Year of Style, Fekkai distills his unerring sense of style to a single theme that can be varied month by month. Instead of thrashing after each new look, he suggests, one can hone her elegance by living more simply. Expressing one's own engagement with the world -- even as it changes -- is the essence of Fekkai style.
Jesse Gale is a freelance writer living a stylish life in Los Angeles.