The Stylist's Guide to NYC Hardcover – 6 Jun 2011
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About the Author
After establishing herself as an interior stylist in Australian lifestyle publications, Sibella Court moved to New York in 1999. She built a career in the US over nine years, working on advertising campaigns for Jo Malone, Bergdorf Goodman and Brocade home, and was a regular contributor to magazines including Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, US Vogue Living and House & Garden. She returned home in 2008 and opened The Society Inc, an old haberdashery meets hardware store specialising in local and global textiles, furniture, homewares and beautiful things. Sibella is the Interiors Editor of Harpers Bazaar and Grazia magazines, designs paint ranges quarterly with Murobond Paints and was recently a judge on the interior design TV show Homemade. Etcetera won Best Designed Book and Best Designed General Illustrated Book at the APA Annual Design Awards 2010.
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Full of handy to know bits of info. Really looking forward to putting it to the test - only hope all the stores mentioned are still trading.
However, as lovely as the book is, I found it hard to get to grips with and I can't imagine it would be very practical to use. The maps in muted tones of grey and brown are difficult to read, and although the different stop off points are marked on them, the route you take is not. Also, the lack of any descriptions for the numerous photos mean you can't tell which shops a lot of the pictured items are from.
You should also be aware that this isn't a book which focuses on clothes or fashion at all really, which I found surprising. Court is more of a stylist for backdrops for photo shoots etc, rather than a clothes stylist, and so you shouldn't expect a trip round the designer stores or even vintage clothes stores.
I can imagine this being a great book to buy if you live in New York or regularly visit there and are interested in buying lots of homewares and similar things. However if you're just doing a short trip to NYC or don't fancy spending hours wandering around twenty different flower shops then this isn't the book for you.
The book is split into 'loops,' which cover Scents & Flower Merchants, Oddities & Curiosities, Jewellery & Hardware, Haberdashery & Handmade, Drapers & Upholstery, Art & Objects, Paper & Art Supplies, Kitchen & Table Paraphernalia, and Furniture & Interiors. Each covers a number of stores and is designed to be crammed into one busy day with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack stops identified. However, as a map is included you can quickly use the ideas to create your own itinerary (but write it down as the book would be too heavy to take with you).
An index is included with all the shops listed alphabetically with addresses and websites where available and also by zipcode which is handy. One thing I didn't like is the fact that it isn't always clear which photograph matches which location- a numbering system of the photos would be handy for people who are inspired but perhaps don't have time to complete each loop in its entirety.
Whilst it isn't a guide for someones first trip to New York, it is lovely to dip in and out of or for travellers on repeat trips looking for interior design inspiration.
All of the loops have some pictures of what you will see - for example in loop 1 (Scents & Flower Merchants) it mentions "Caribbean Cuts" as the third stop - and a picture of the store's sign can be seen.
The loops I liked were loop 7 "Paper & Supplies" - page 200, Loop 8 -"Kitchen and Table Paraphernalia" and Loop 9 "Furniture and Interiors"
LIKES: It uses recycled paper. It has a great collage type layout. It will help you get a deeper knowledge of the local's shops not just the usual tourist stuff like the Statue of Liberty. It therefore adds to the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet book you take. I went to NY many years ago. It has good tips about hiring a bike, using Google code 46645 to locate a NY shop. It has a good index and also a ZIP code dividing NY up for easier geographic access
DISLIKES: There is a map of NY enclosed -but it's tiny -take a clearer one with you to see the streets.
CONCLUSION: A great way of doing what the locals do. It should enrich to your Rough Guide / Lonely Planet guides. I have not been to NY for a while, but it is a vibrant city and this book will add to the colour of your visit