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The girl we all wanna be

It’s funny that my pal Andrea Linett’s funny, clever fashion memoir is called I Want to be Her, since I’ve never had another friend whose sense of style has been more envied, coveted, or closely studied than hers.  She just knows how to throw things together, as some people do. And I would never try to pull off that very specifically Andrea-branded slickified rock chick/French fashion editor/hippie chick look of hers even for a moment. It is always best, in matters such as this, to simply look and learn.

This is pretty much the message of I Want to be Her, which tells the story of the many and varied women who shaped and influenced Andrea’s sense of style. The range is impressive and unpredictable. We’ve got:

Francine, the beautiful French babysitter Andrea found quite bohemian, even though she was not yet certain what bohemian meant.

Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable. And also as Lisa Bonet.

Mandy, A girl Andrea met at college who had a huge Vuitton Speedy bag and wore grey sweatpants so perfect that Andrea suspected they’d been professionally altered.

And the mysterious stranger, spied briefly on the street in Easthampton, who was dressed quite simply,  but had two tattoos of green snakes, one on either side of her face right next to her ear.  “Was this woman a former Marrakesh hippie? Did she used to hang out with Jim Morrison? Was she covering up face-lift scars?” Andrea wrote. “Although I am confident that I will never in a million years want tattoos on my face, there was something about her individuality that inspired me.”

While  it was of course fun to see so many people who were part of both of our lives—from our time at Sassy, where we met in the late 80s, to the years we spent together at Lucky—that wasn’t my favorite part of the book. What I appreciated most, aside from the fact that it’s probably the most unpretentious fashion memoir ever written, is its value as a piece of pop cultural history. Anyone who came of age in the late 70s and early 80s—or whose universes were in any way altered by The Brooke Book, Fiorucci, Bow Wow Wow, Sun-In or Leif Garret —will be utterly charmed.

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Posted on September 10th, 2012 11 Comments

11 Responses

  1. sheri says:

    Yet another reason why I love your blog so much. Thank you for sharing this book (which I am SO getting) – I can relate so often to your references, in a way that few blogs do for me. Thank you!!!

  2. Ordered.

    Miz Linett’s end page was always my favorite part of the issue.

    (I expect my life will improve immensely come Thursday when this is delivered.)

    • Amy says:

      Mine too! I used to tear them out and save them in a file and go through them every few months. I miss those days.

      • Cate says:

        Me too! I love her style, I particularly remember one where she had altered an Indian dress into a top and wore with jeans and Lucchese boots (which she introduced me to!) It was this cool laid back image I still try get the feel of on weekends.

  3. CB says:

    Cannot what to read this one. Denise/Lisa’s style rocked my world when I was a girl…thanks for sharing!!

  4. Lyn says:

    I saved those pages too. Can’t wait to read this!

  5. ljchicago says:

    Countless, nameless women have shaped my style. I see them wearing things that I LOVE but could never in a million years wear — due to my age, body type, and/or personality. For a while I tried to wear those items but finally said, “Wow, I love that and will admire you from afar while you wear it!”

  6. Meagan says:

    Thanks for sharing! Another book to go on my wishlist!

  7. Elle says:

    Whoosh! You took me back with that reference to Fiorucci. I think I need this book. Thanks!

  8. Donna says:

    This sounds like a book that I’d enjoy, especially since I love style, used Sun-In as a teen, and loved Bow Wow Wow. I saw them at the House of Blues in Anaheim in 2003, and they were still fantastic. Thanks for the refer!