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Luella's Guide to English Style [Hardcover]

Luella Bartley
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

14 Oct 2010

Top young fashion designer Luella Bartley celebrates English style and explains how to acquire it.

What makes English girls the coolest in the world? What is the English style which girls around the world try to emulate? In this book Luella Bartley - crowned Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2008 - sets out to capture what it is that makes English girls just a little bit special.

First up are the clothes – Luella investigates the combination of smart and scruffy, classic and street-style, which ensures that English girls are always at the cutting edge of fashion. Then there are the icons – the English girl knows that Kate Moss and The Duchess of Devonshire both have a place in the style pantheon.

Luella explains the style tribes vying for the English girl's allegiance, the social rituals she undergoes – from surfing in Cornwall to clubbing in Berlin – and the status symbols she marks herself out with. All this requires a lot of photographs, drawings, and, occasionally, diagrams.

But Luella's Guide to English Style isn't simply a book about fashion and style, it's a work of social anthropology – delivered with a wink and a kiss on the cheek. Luella describes the English girl's approach to love and shows how the English girl gets better with age.

With her background as London’s hippest designer and as an editor on Vogue and the London Evening Standard, Luella Bartley is brilliantly placed to map out English style and what it means for girls.

Note: The book has unique dyeing that is supposed to give it an aged look.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (14 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780007285310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007285310
  • ASIN: 0007285310
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for Luella Bartley:

‘A star – a poster child for London cool’ – American Vogue.

‘The air of effortless cool that surrounds the Luella label’ – The Guardian.

‘As calm and cool as a raindrop sliding down a windowpane’ – London Evening Standard.

About the Author

Born in 1974 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Luella Bartley trained at Central Saint Martins before working as a journalist on Vogue and the London Evening Standard. Ten years ago she decided to set up her own fashion label and gave her first collection the title ‘Daddy, I Want A Pony’. Named by Harpers & Queen as ‘the leader of London’s junior style mafia’, she recently moved from London to Cornwall with her husband David Sims – a photographer – and their three children, where she enjoys surfing and riding. Aside from her own collections she has designed for O’Neill, the surfwear company, and Target, the American chain-store.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved, Loved, Loved 23 Oct 2010
I totally loved this book. I was really gutted when the label closed and this book shows me why. Luella shows the thought, time and research that went into her collections and her inspirations in life and in her art. I am a MASSIVE Luella fan and have the wardrobe to prove it but I think there is a lot of inspiration for anyone who is a bit left of field.

Its not a style guide as such but more of a love letter to English style and English girls, writing about everything from Horsey Sloans to scruffy tomboys (of which I fit the brief) and visiting all sorts of stylish legends/tribes in between. Its also an attack on the mainstreaming of outsider looks, the blandness of today's pop stars and inspirational for anyone looking to add edge to their outfits.

I felt that it perfectly incapsulated the contrariness of English style, that we can be many different things at the same time - all thrown together in a dishevelled way. Most style books tell you how to get a look, which classics to buy to fit in or try and pigeonhole you into this style or that, but this celebrates originality, the past and an outsider influence. It is word heavy rather then picture heavy but to me that is a good thing.

I could not put the book down, I took it on the train across Italy after visiting for a Champions League game this week (true English contrariness) and read it all in one go. If there were slight criticisms it would be that at times it is a little bit London-centric, as if everyones path leads to working in fashion, art and magazines with access to the back room at Relik and that nobody works up north in a boring office job but that is her life and is true for who she has grown up with.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Irritating Author 14 Feb 2011
By Emma
Never before have I found myself irritated by the author of a book. This is new!

Luella was originally a journalist. I would suggest that she is more suited to this kind of writing as her book is highly repetitive and could be summed up in a couple of pages. Essentially ,it appears to be a self-indulgent, egocentric rant about her own personal obsession with being, and looking "cool". It also outlines the reasons why she is cool - a prime example is having celebrity fashion friends. These are named - repetitively lest we forget.

I am also offended that Luella suggests all English girls are as shallow and insecure as she appears to be. Take this paragraph for example:
"Really, we still care far too much for what everyone else thinks of us and if they are intimidated by our superior taste and where we sit on the social scale at any particular moment."
Oh really? This is news to me. Am I alone in disagreeing with this statement or is this book largely about Luella herself - the "we" a thinly veiled "I".

I give the book 2 stars rather than one because I think the design of the book itself is awesome. The visual references inside the book however are disappointingly bland.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Style Crisis 1 Jun 2011
Sorry, Luella, I was really looking forward to reading this book, but I've read it cover to cover now and I'm none the wiser!had meant to buy it when it was first published but life got in the way. Reminded of it whilst ordering a (certain French model's) guide to style on Amazon and so ordered it. Found the prose hard going (and I read some convoluted stuff for English Lit 'A' level so it's not my inability to read!) and nothing comes to mind to recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bit boring! 17 Nov 2011
This is not so much of a guide, but more of a life story of the author! Don't expect tips on how to dress or style ideas. The best bit about this book is the cover!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and entertaining 20 Feb 2011
By Kathryn
Definately worth the discounted price I got it for here. It was an interesting read, and good to just dip in and out of. More a history/encyclopedia guide sort of thing rather than fashion advice or anything, mind. Whilst the author sometimes comes across as a bit conceited, the humour and tone of the writing are overall really well suited. It does stereotype things, and the illustrations aren't the best in the world, but wonderfully entertaining and I found myself agreeing with parts. It is worth getting, or would make an excellent present for that certain someone who seems to have everything they need who would find it interesting.

ALSO: As noted in some of the other reviews, the book cover itself is worn at the edges and looks well read. I personally love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Luella 26 Dec 2010
By Miss M
I really enjoyed this book, was given it for Christmas and read 80% of it on the day, finished it on Boxing Day morning! Its inspirational and describes the quirkiness of English style perfectly.
Never again will I feel tempted to throw money at a style dilemma when all it needs is imagination!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Trip Down Memory Lane... 9 Nov 2010
This book made me smile, laugh and cringe about the "tribes" that I was in and the uniform that we would wear! I loved the design of the cover and the hot pink band which makes you feel as if you are really about to enter the world of Luella. Although not a style guide, it does have a lovely section entitled "Typical English Garb" which made me run straight out and add a Barbour jacket to my wardrobe. Next stop the tack shop! Really really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one where hopefully Luella can tell us all how to put all the garb together.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect present for someone with style
I bought this book as a gift for my friend who absolutely loves it. A great book filled with lovely ideas and illustrations tat you can dip in and out of. Highly recommended.
Published 3 months ago by MRS A MCGUIRE-SEERY
5.0 out of 5 stars Luella's guide to English Style
I opted to purchase a 'used' version of this book; to save pennies in these austere times. I was not at all disappointed - it was almost like brand new, with very slight marking... Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2012 by Carolyn
2.0 out of 5 stars A book for an English audience
The book is well presented and written with a lot a wit but i guess it resonates more with a british audience. Read more
Published on 19 May 2011 by alex
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, and the text is as good as the look!
This is a beautiful book, text and illustrations are as good as the package. I have been inspired by British style since my teenage years (a raving punk in 1977! Read more
Published on 15 May 2011 by maglin
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading and pointless
This book is entitled "Luella's guide to English Style", but is not in fact a guide to English style at all; rather it is a stream-of-consciousness account of the author's thoughts... Read more
Published on 5 May 2011 by Sarah Joanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for anyone who loves English style
I love London and was so excited to read about English style in a more insightful way as did Luella. It has kind of enciclopedian revews of main English style decades. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by Ekaterina_L
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I expected
I had expected a picture guide, but this book was much more than that. A very comprehensive read, impressive in details. Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2011 by R. Al-khafaji
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing something I won't be giving away.
This book is amazing. Its something that I won't be giving away (something I normally do after reading my books unless super special) It is a wonderful guide too fashion and it is... Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2011 by LuellaFan
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