all books on fashion promote a specific, if not a singular, point of view. usually, that view is a variation on "be yourself", without suggesting which "self" you should be, and offers ideas to help you stretch your sartorial boundaries. this one is no different, and if you're going to listen to anyone, joe zee is one of the best. "the ELLEments," however, lost its way somewhere in selecting its icons -- for example, kate mara, christina hendricks, and alicia keys. talented, lovely women all, but no one is likely to think "fashion" when you think of them. you will look at the featured women and wonder who they are and/or why they're in the book. then you'll come up with a list of more suitable candidates. tops on my list is olivia palermo, a purported elle staffer (but like a woman's colorist, who knows for sure?) with miles of panache. why isn't she in the book?
no such issues with nina garcia's books. i use them for planning trips, organizing my closet, and most of all, inspiration. the ELLEments has great photos, but nina's books have ruben toledo's drawings -- the drawings aren't as immediate as photographs but they are timeless and are always fresh every time i view them.