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The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures

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Style is not just the clothes on our backs—it is self-expression, representation, and transformation. As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire rarely saw anyone that looked like him in the magazines or movies he sought out for inspiration. Now the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, he is working to change that—because clothes are never just clothes. Men’s heels Style is not just the clothes on our backs—it is self-expression, representation, and transformation. As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire rarely saw anyone that looked like him in the magazines or movies he sought out for inspiration. Now the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, he is working to change that—because clothes are never just clothes. Men’s heels are a statement of pride in the face of LGTBQ+ discrimination, while ribbon shirts honor Indigenous ancestors and keep culture alive. Allaire takes the reader through boldly designed chapters to discuss additional topics like cosplay, make up, hijabs, and hair, probing the connections between fashion and history, culture, politics, and social justice.


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Style is not just the clothes on our backs—it is self-expression, representation, and transformation. As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire rarely saw anyone that looked like him in the magazines or movies he sought out for inspiration. Now the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, he is working to change that—because clothes are never just clothes. Men’s heels Style is not just the clothes on our backs—it is self-expression, representation, and transformation. As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire rarely saw anyone that looked like him in the magazines or movies he sought out for inspiration. Now the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, he is working to change that—because clothes are never just clothes. Men’s heels are a statement of pride in the face of LGTBQ+ discrimination, while ribbon shirts honor Indigenous ancestors and keep culture alive. Allaire takes the reader through boldly designed chapters to discuss additional topics like cosplay, make up, hijabs, and hair, probing the connections between fashion and history, culture, politics, and social justice.

30 review for The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    I picked up this book because the topic sounded interesting. Fashion as a tool for activism is such a cool idea. I had hoped this would be an in-depth look at the battles against cultural appropriation in the fashion world and the ways we can empower marginalized communities.  The Power of Style is more like a photo essay or magazine article. It is split into parts discussing various elements of fashion such as hijabs, natural hair, high heels for men and queer people, etc. Lots of photographs, t I picked up this book because the topic sounded interesting. Fashion as a tool for activism is such a cool idea. I had hoped this would be an in-depth look at the battles against cultural appropriation in the fashion world and the ways we can empower marginalized communities.  The Power of Style is more like a photo essay or magazine article. It is split into parts discussing various elements of fashion such as hijabs, natural hair, high heels for men and queer people, etc. Lots of photographs, typography and short reading sections. Nothing really goes in-depth, it's more akin to brief summaries of certain elements of fashion. I'd say the target audience is kids but I'm not even sure that's the intention.  I was mildly surprised that the author decided to portray cosplay as an example for plus-sized fashion. Surely a better example would be the bikini and lingerie movements? In general, can we consider cosplay an element of the fashion world? How does cosplay reclaim culture?   There's so little critical thinking here. Obviously, that's not what this book set out to do but I was still disappointed. The subject matter is so interesting but this book just doesn't do much with it. All in all, if you're looking for an aesthetic magazine-like book about fashion, I imagine this could suit you. Don't let the title and description fool you, this is a summary, rather than an analysis. As always, thanks to Netgalley for offering me a copy of this book in return for my review! What I'm Taking With Me - The part about ribbons in Native fashion was by far the most interesting part -it made me think about how our daily actions can become imbedded with meaning if we just let them.  - The graphic design isn't bad, I think the photos chosen were well done. - Heck yeah, I can still write reviews when I'm behind everything else in my life ------------------- This book is more like a blog post but heck, I'm 11 books behind my reading challenge and the second covid vaccine is making me feel dead inside right now so I'm gonna consider this a book regardless. Review to come!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    Gorgeously illustrated but too short book on how young fashion designers are claiming and reclaiming their cultural inheritance expressed in fashion and makeup. I learned a lot (especially about indigenous ribbon work and makeup and hair challenges for African Americans) but I would have love to have learned more about the historical traditions that are being honored and updated. Really intriguing stuff and the photography is amazing. **Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free co Gorgeously illustrated but too short book on how young fashion designers are claiming and reclaiming their cultural inheritance expressed in fashion and makeup. I learned a lot (especially about indigenous ribbon work and makeup and hair challenges for African Americans) but I would have love to have learned more about the historical traditions that are being honored and updated. Really intriguing stuff and the photography is amazing. **Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gary Anderson

    The Power of Style looks at how various fashion trends go far beyond surface-level decorations and adornments to represent deeply-held personal and cultural beliefs. Author Christian Allaire explores six examples of style with identity implications: Indigenous ribbon work; natural hair in the Black and Indigenous communities; cosplay, especially for plus-size fans; the hijab and modest fashion for Muslim women; high heels for men; and new ways to think about make-up, including henna. Each sectio The Power of Style looks at how various fashion trends go far beyond surface-level decorations and adornments to represent deeply-held personal and cultural beliefs. Author Christian Allaire explores six examples of style with identity implications: Indigenous ribbon work; natural hair in the Black and Indigenous communities; cosplay, especially for plus-size fans; the hijab and modest fashion for Muslim women; high heels for men; and new ways to think about make-up, including henna. Each section features color photographs and brief but insightful explanations from various models, designers, and users. At only ninety-six pages in length, The Power of Style seems almost more like a magazine than a book, which may be part of its appeal to the niche of young readers interested in provocative, innovative visions of fashion and style.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    I love this book and would love to see it end up in every middle school and high school library. The author is an Ojibwe vogue fashion editor and he presents a variety of ways that people are reclaiming fashion to embrace their cultures, differences and identities. Designers are profiled who make fashionable hijabs, ribbon costumes, heels for men, etc. from their own communities. There are profiles of such diverse, beautiful people who are reclaiming fashion, makeup and hair and making it so muc I love this book and would love to see it end up in every middle school and high school library. The author is an Ojibwe vogue fashion editor and he presents a variety of ways that people are reclaiming fashion to embrace their cultures, differences and identities. Designers are profiled who make fashionable hijabs, ribbon costumes, heels for men, etc. from their own communities. There are profiles of such diverse, beautiful people who are reclaiming fashion, makeup and hair and making it so much more personal and impactful. I loved it. I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a book about fashion, but don't expect it to be the fashion you are used to seeing in magazines. In fact, that is the point. The author says that he saw this fashion in his indigenous community, and never saw it in the glossy magazines. So he looks to marginalized people of all kinds, to put together a fascinating book on fashion. Because fashion shouldn't all be Western white people. So don't expect to see typical things. This book covers sewing, how to wear your hair, how to cos-play, a This is a book about fashion, but don't expect it to be the fashion you are used to seeing in magazines. In fact, that is the point. The author says that he saw this fashion in his indigenous community, and never saw it in the glossy magazines. So he looks to marginalized people of all kinds, to put together a fascinating book on fashion. Because fashion shouldn't all be Western white people. So don't expect to see typical things. This book covers sewing, how to wear your hair, how to cos-play, and how to do makeup, amongst other things. There is a section on fashion with hijabs. There is a section on high heels for men. And these are not full of skinny-minis either. There are plus sized men and women here, because there is nothing wrong with that. Should you hide your acne, or show it off? With the hijab, why not wear the prettiest colors you can? And when is it cultural appropriation vs. appreciation? Well as this book points out, if you love something from a culture, buy it from that culture, rather than trying to adopt it for yourself. And this gives a lot of examples of who you can buy it from. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Full of wonderful photos and art, I really loved this. It's a love letter to self-expression and celebrating yourself as you are. Highly recommend for adults as well as teen readers! Full of wonderful photos and art, I really loved this. It's a love letter to self-expression and celebrating yourself as you are. Highly recommend for adults as well as teen readers!

  7. 5 out of 5

    lisa

    I loved this book, but i wish it were twice as long. It was clearly laid out and marketed to a much younger audience, but I would have preferred a coffee table style book. I loved the pictures!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cmeiss330

    Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a beautiful and much needed book that I think so many of our teens and young adults will love. The only thing I would change is taking out the photo of Ezra Miller following his assault allegations. Everything else is *chef’s kiss*

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This is a beautiful book with a unique take on style and culture. I had the privilege of listening to the author and his editor discuss his book and I can’t wait to share this with students.it is visually stunning but the message is what makes the book so powerful. The reclamation of power through fashion is wonderful see explored in a beautiful and accessible way. I can’t wait to share this with students!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    From hijabs and heels to cosplay and cultural garments this book covers aspects of style that have often been overlooked by mainstream culture. An immersive look at various aspects of fashion, the book has gorgeous photographs throughout and highlights a wide and diverse range of artists. This is a quick and engrossing read. I only wish it was longer.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Bright, colorful, and I learned some things / followed some Indigenous models on social media. Cool cool. Pretty light otherwise. Someone else who reviewed it here said it read like a magazine article. I concur.

  12. 4 out of 5

    HaileyAnne

    I loved everything about this book. I loved the stories behind the different styles and the cultural importance of fashion/style.

  13. 5 out of 5

    AK

    Beautifully laid out. A good introduction to various cross-sections of fashion and culture aimed at younger audiences. Personally I could have used captions on all the photos rather than only some.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book is a finalist for the Cybils Award, High School Nonfiction. It is very colorful and concise. As the subtitle suggests it deals with the ways that fashion can help people reconnect with their culture and feel good about themselves. I thought there were some really positive aspects to this book: Indigenous people who are creating fashions with ribbons that embrace their heritage; blacks who are loving their natural hair; new designs and fabrics used for hijabs; and indigenous men who wea This book is a finalist for the Cybils Award, High School Nonfiction. It is very colorful and concise. As the subtitle suggests it deals with the ways that fashion can help people reconnect with their culture and feel good about themselves. I thought there were some really positive aspects to this book: Indigenous people who are creating fashions with ribbons that embrace their heritage; blacks who are loving their natural hair; new designs and fabrics used for hijabs; and indigenous men who wear their hair long, reclaiming the tribal traditions. Other aspects I felt were a bit more trite and not related to culture at all like girls dressing up for cosplay, men wearing heels, and uses of make-up. Those all seemed like trends in fashion, no judgement, but not equal to the other.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bridgette

    I received a galley when attending a webinar in exchange for an honest review. Allaire is writing about style and fashion and the power both wield with a focus on those that have been left out of conversation--Indigenous people, people of color, and all sizes of bodies. The book has short chapter with personal essays, interviews, a few tips, and plenty of gorgeous pictures. This will certainly appeal to teens who into fashion, not just because of the content, but because of the careful styling o I received a galley when attending a webinar in exchange for an honest review. Allaire is writing about style and fashion and the power both wield with a focus on those that have been left out of conversation--Indigenous people, people of color, and all sizes of bodies. The book has short chapter with personal essays, interviews, a few tips, and plenty of gorgeous pictures. This will certainly appeal to teens who into fashion, not just because of the content, but because of the careful styling of the book. It is a major oversight that there are no people with disabilities represented. Everyone appears to be able bodied, but I know there are model with disabilities, and I would bet there are designers also. For an otherwise illuminating book the lack of this representation sticks out. Despite that, the book has many virtues, and I'll be adding this to my purchase list for the library.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rich in Color

    Review copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley Christian Allaire and many, many other folks share distinct ways style and fashion can communicate. These creators are exploring and celebrating their identities and sharing themselves through their fashions. The Power of Style gives us a glimpse into the motivations and inspirations behind some of their marvelous creations. Allaire begins by sharing about the making of his first adult ribbon shirt. This is a great example of how an item of clothing can be si Review copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley Christian Allaire and many, many other folks share distinct ways style and fashion can communicate. These creators are exploring and celebrating their identities and sharing themselves through their fashions. The Power of Style gives us a glimpse into the motivations and inspirations behind some of their marvelous creations. Allaire begins by sharing about the making of his first adult ribbon shirt. This is a great example of how an item of clothing can be significantly more than just a body covering. The colors were chosen because they were favorites of his close elders. They also incorporated the colors of the medicine wheel which is important within the Ojibwe culture. The whole process involved multiple people and was a priceless bonding experience. The garment holds memories of loved ones, honors his culture, and is worn with pride. So many of the stories within this book are similar in that the clothing, accessories, and sometimes even makeup carry relationship connections and a lot of meaning. Those layers of meaning are part of the reason that appropriation can be such a hurtful act. Allaire points out the difference between appropriation and appreciation which is an important distinction that many folks don’t seem to grasp. He conveys the idea that fashion and style enhance beauty that is already there and aren’t for fixing or improving people. This enhancing can be done through clothing, shoes and other accessories, along with makeup and hair treatment and/or styles. This wide variety kept my attention and while I spent much time looking at the photos, I was always eager to see the next page. The photos and the design of the book are definitely appealing. There are bright colors and of course the fashion and styles are quite distinct with many details to take in and appreciate. There is a great section about high heals designed for men. It includes a little bit of history, but never feels like a textbook and of course looking at the different shoes was a treat and shoes are Allaire’s specialty. The section about hair was also informative and covered natural hair and the beauty of it, but also some of the complicated relationships some people have had with their hair. Another aspect of hair was the practice of Indigenous men wearing long hair. This was something that was denied many boys and men especially during the time of the residential schools and so carries even more meaning as men honor their ancestors who had the choice taken from them. Along with hair there is a significant section about hair coverings. Body positivity is a topic that is also addressed within the cosplay portion. Recommendation: Get it soon. This book has a great variety of topics and the photos will likely catch the attention of most readers, but especially those who love fashion. Many of the artistic choices push boundaries and it is great to see how the creators of these fashions and styles hold on to traditions while at the same time, put their own new spin on them. Original review posted at http://richincolor.com/2021/04/review...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nada

    *Review for Hijabi Librarians* Original Review Link Self-described fashion-obsessed author of The Power of Style, Christian Allaire, presents fashion through a lens of inclusion. Allaire, Indigenous Ojibwe from the Nipissing First Nation Reserve in Ontario, never saw anyone that looked like him in the mainstream fashion spaces. Now as fashion and style writer for Vogue, he hopes to change that. His book is a celebration of style and identity, cultural activism and empowerment, making space for tho *Review for Hijabi Librarians* Original Review Link Self-described fashion-obsessed author of The Power of Style, Christian Allaire, presents fashion through a lens of inclusion. Allaire, Indigenous Ojibwe from the Nipissing First Nation Reserve in Ontario, never saw anyone that looked like him in the mainstream fashion spaces. Now as fashion and style writer for Vogue, he hopes to change that. His book is a celebration of style and identity, cultural activism and empowerment, making space for those that are historically underrepresented and erased. Colorful and bold, young adult readers can explore and learn about many different expressions of identity and fashion, and image presentations associated with them. It is divided into six sections: Sewing Traditions (focusing on ribbon work by Indigenous designers from several nations), Hair (especially in Black and Indigenous communities as an act of love and resistance), Cosplay and Body Positivity, Headcoverings, High Heels (for men, and in queer fashion), and Makeup. Throughout each chapter Allaire provides space for contributors to write their own thoughts while giving readers more context to the subject matter via definitions, infographics, and photographs. The sections are simple, but do well as a first snapshot or introduction to these topics. In the fourth section titled Head Strong, Allaire discusses Muslim women and the hijab (or headscarf). The definitions for hijab and modest fashion are presented on the same page early on in the section. This gives readers an idea of how these concepts intersect while also showing that modest fashion is a concept that falls outside of religion, which is a pretty important distinction to have in a book like this. Head Strong features two main Muslim women who identify as hijabi. The first is Haute Hijab designer and owner, Melanie Elturk. The second is Leah Vernon, fashion influencer, model, and author of Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim. Allaire includes a discussion about hijab on the runway as well as in professional sports. This section includes a diversity of images and contributors of Muslim women; there is no one image or fashion that is highlighted as to what “hijabi” looks like. Also, when discussing performance hijabs, instead of naming large corporations, Allaire highlights a small Muslim owned brand. This chapter is a great introduction to hijabi fashion and frames a moment for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to learn about its different aspects and expressions. Fashion is quite personal and connects many aspects of a person’s identity. Allaire creates the opportunity for minoritized groups to see the fashion that embraces identity and cultural expressions within a book, while opening the metaphorical door for readers to learn about other fashions and identities. The Power of Style is a powerful and highly anticipated release that should be in every young adult nonfiction collection.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Overall, this book was quite interesting. One of the things that stood out to me was how society is fickle and how things get incorporated into different cultures. Based on how the information was presented in this book, Indigenous ribbon work came to be when there was an excess of silk, due to ribbons falling out of favor in European fashion. When it comes to fickle society, long hair or at least longer hair was a fashion in European men's fashion once upon time. Yet, when get to the United Sta Overall, this book was quite interesting. One of the things that stood out to me was how society is fickle and how things get incorporated into different cultures. Based on how the information was presented in this book, Indigenous ribbon work came to be when there was an excess of silk, due to ribbons falling out of favor in European fashion. When it comes to fickle society, long hair or at least longer hair was a fashion in European men's fashion once upon time. Yet, when get to the United States in the 1700s-1800s with Native Americans, long hair on men are now scorned. I was also please to have a definition of natural hair, but it seems to be quite simple and more inclusive than I thought. Natural hair was defined as "hair that is natural," which means, I guess, how your hair acts after it is washed and dried. This of course led to another question, which were not answered. With the hair section, it seems like it is a fairly common thing for people want something they do not have. Now the reasons behind that might be motivated by different things, but it seems to be there. I know sometimes I wished had curly or wavy hair, but I also know I will miss being able to do my braided up-dos without extra steps or possible problems that may come with curly hair (are there problems with braiding curly hair?). On a side note, long hair is amazing! You know how many hairstyles I could do with really long hair (past the chest, like middle of the back)? So many! Cosplay situation I totally understand. Now my situation is a bit different from the women in this book, but I do not want to spend unnecessarily amount of money for cosplay. This means there are very few characters that I know who have my exact physical characteristics (not county body shape and height). I recently realized that Suki from Avatar the Last Airbender is the closest, except my hair is bit longer and more brown than reddish. I was so excited about that realization! Yes! Alim Latif! I totally agree with him about heels in this statement: "I've never been interested in a thin stiletto heel as a practical functional item..." While I know some women can run in them, I prefer a heel with a solid, thick heel. My favorite pair of heels are like that. To me, stilettos would only be good for whacking someone in the eye if they are attacking you, instead of running away from them. So yes, I am all for a practical functional heel. For me, the best part of makeup are all the pretty colors and the names. I do like the look of makeup, but I would not necessarily be as bold as some of the looks in this book, unless it is for a good reason. Foundation shades always leave me a little confuse! While they appear to be different in their bottles, it is hard to know what will blend with my skin tone. Verdict: Informative book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I received a free e-ARC from the publisher/author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. (Review will be live on my blog on 26 April 2021.) The Power of Style is a beautiful book about the ways fashion can be used to "promote cultural activism, empowerment, diversity, and inclusivity." The author, Christian Allaire, is an Ojibwe man, and style writer for Vogue. This book seems to be a work of the heart for him, and indeed, it is a celebration of many cultures, genders, skin tones, and bo I received a free e-ARC from the publisher/author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. (Review will be live on my blog on 26 April 2021.) The Power of Style is a beautiful book about the ways fashion can be used to "promote cultural activism, empowerment, diversity, and inclusivity." The author, Christian Allaire, is an Ojibwe man, and style writer for Vogue. This book seems to be a work of the heart for him, and indeed, it is a celebration of many cultures, genders, skin tones, and body types. In the words of the author, “Style is not just the clothes on our backs - it is self-expression, representation, and transformation.” Though it's a bit hard to tell from the eARC, I imagine this is going to be sort of a coffee table book. The images are really meant to be the draw card, which then invite you to read more about the topics. And let me tell you, the photos are absolutely stunning. Peppered throughout the book are important definitions (such as the difference between appropriation and appreciation), how-to-guides (how to walk in heels), and interviews relating to the various topics (such as ways hair is important to different groups such as drag queens wearing wigs, Black folk celebrating their natural hair, and Indigenous men keeping their hair long). Some of these topics included Indigenous ribbon work, hijab and modest fashion, queer men wearing heels, henna art, and plus size women using cosplay - all as forms of self-expression. I really enjoyed the range of topics that were covered, and found the whole book to be an celebration of humanity. It's all about the ways fashion can be used to reflect and uplift who we are, as opposed to changing or covering up things we don't like about ourselves. The whole message is that fashion doesn't have to be one single thing that is dictated by some amorphous, elite, mainstream entity. We decide what is fashion. And it should be used to celebrate all the different parts of us.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle McGrane

    Ojibwe writer, Christian Allaire, grew up on the Nipissing First Nation reserve in Ontario, Canada. As a fashion obsessed teen, he rarely saw anyone who looked like him in the magazines and movies he sought out for inspiration. Now a fashion and style writer for U.S. Vogue, based in New York City, he is working to change that — because clothes are never just clothes. Style isn’t just the clothes on our backs or makeup on our faces — it is self expression, representation, and transformation. Allai Ojibwe writer, Christian Allaire, grew up on the Nipissing First Nation reserve in Ontario, Canada. As a fashion obsessed teen, he rarely saw anyone who looked like him in the magazines and movies he sought out for inspiration. Now a fashion and style writer for U.S. Vogue, based in New York City, he is working to change that — because clothes are never just clothes. Style isn’t just the clothes on our backs or makeup on our faces — it is self expression, representation, and transformation. Allaire’s debut includes over 26 people using fashion and beauty today to promote cultural activism, empowerment, diversity and inclusivity. They use garments, accessories or various beauty techniques to reclaim and celebrate their identities. “We’re at a time when cultural pride and activism are more important than ever . . . it’s an opportune moment to use what you wear for a larger purpose.” Allaire probes the connection between fashion and history, culture, politics, and social justice in bold and colourfully designed chapters dedicated to: Indigenous communities keeping their culture’s traditions alive with ribbon work; how wearing our hair can have a much deeper meaning; cosplayers disrupting the art form, promoting acceptance, and body positivity; Muslim women embracing hijabs on their own terms; men and non binary people using footwear to push the boundaries of gender expression, and makeup junkies channeling their cultures into their looks, using their faces for self expression and pride. I absolutely loved reading this gorgeously designed, technicolor feast. ‘The Power of Style’ is interesting, informative and, I believe, an important and necessary book for people of all ages today. Although it has been written for young adults it is suitable for all adults. There is so much more Christian Allaire has to share and I can’t wait for his next book. A huge thank you to @NetGalley and @annick_press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    This nonfiction book explores the importance of fashion as a way to pay homage to heritage, culture and identity. The book looks at the work of designers who are incorporating their own Indigenous heritage into their work, such as ribbon work. The book moves on to hair styles and the importance of embracing natural hair, keeping long hair as a connection to culture, and the art of braiding. Cosplay comes next focusing on size acceptance within the cosplay community and the people who are forcing This nonfiction book explores the importance of fashion as a way to pay homage to heritage, culture and identity. The book looks at the work of designers who are incorporating their own Indigenous heritage into their work, such as ribbon work. The book moves on to hair styles and the importance of embracing natural hair, keeping long hair as a connection to culture, and the art of braiding. Cosplay comes next focusing on size acceptance within the cosplay community and the people who are forcing more inclusivity. Modest fashion and hijabs and head scarves are explored next with a focus on style and individuality. Then the book moves on to talk about high heels for men and the importance of standing tall for LGBTQIA+ rights. The final section is about makeup, both as a way to express yourself and as a way to see yourself included as modern makeup embraces more skin tones. Each turn of the page in this book shows people of color, different cultures and religions, various gender and sexual identities, a wide range of sizes, and it embraces all of them as valid and beautiful. Written by an Ojibwe author who is the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, this book represents so many movements in the fashion world to be seen and accepted. Allaire’s writing is friendly and fresh, inviting readers to explore the pages, showing what allyship looks like, and giving real space to these new ideas and designs. The book is full of photographs, making it a visual delight to read. Allaire has clearly carefully selected the photographs to show the fashion and also the figures who make the fashion come alive. They are bright, beautiful and truly speak to the diversity he is highlighting. A gorgeous and enticing book about fashion that will broaden definitions and embraces inclusion. Appropriate for ages 12-16.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Most of us have grown up with the sort of fashion and style books that showed us how we SHOULD look within a very very narrow definition: thin, tall, white, shiny hair adaptable to the current style, clear-skinned and perfectly coordinated from head to toe. By the time I went to college I gave up reading them, knowing I would never measure up. For many teens from other cultures, other sizes and other colors, these books often feel cruel and demeaning. Allaire's Power of Style is NOT that book. Th Most of us have grown up with the sort of fashion and style books that showed us how we SHOULD look within a very very narrow definition: thin, tall, white, shiny hair adaptable to the current style, clear-skinned and perfectly coordinated from head to toe. By the time I went to college I gave up reading them, knowing I would never measure up. For many teens from other cultures, other sizes and other colors, these books often feel cruel and demeaning. Allaire's Power of Style is NOT that book. The wonderfully written book by Allaire, an Ojibwe writer who is now the Fashion and Style writer for Vogue, sets out the philosophy right from the first page. "This book is for anyone who has never felt represented, who has felt inferior or less beautiful, and who has questioned their roots." While acknowledging that fashion has great power and he goes on to introduce readers to people who are using fashion and beauty to promote cultural activism, empowerment, diversity and inclusivity. It is a powerful and inspiring message and it should be heard by all of us, young or old, and of any culture, size or race. The book is absolutely gorgeous and inviting with outstanding photography and layout. Divided into 6 broad categories, the chapters examine Sewing Tradition, Hair, Cosplay and Size, Hijab and modest clothing design, Men's Heels, and Makeup. There is so much to think about and celebrate in these pages and readers will come away with a new interest and respect for what fashion and style can do for all of us. Of particular note for me was a small section on Cultural Appropriation VS. Appreciation that was respectful and extremely helpful as many of the fashions shown in throughout the book are incredibly beautiful. This is a book the should be on the shelves of every high school and public library. Don't miss it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I finally got around to reading The Power of Style by Christian Allaire, and I have to say it was a great peek into modern fashion and the ways that fashion is being used to reclaim cultures. Whenever I read about fashion, it's usually fashion history, as that's more in line with my personal interests, but Allaire comfortably brought me into the modern world of fashion and beauty in a culturally inclusive way. The book is just shy of a hundred pages and is styled like a magazine, with short text I finally got around to reading The Power of Style by Christian Allaire, and I have to say it was a great peek into modern fashion and the ways that fashion is being used to reclaim cultures. Whenever I read about fashion, it's usually fashion history, as that's more in line with my personal interests, but Allaire comfortably brought me into the modern world of fashion and beauty in a culturally inclusive way. The book is just shy of a hundred pages and is styled like a magazine, with short text pieces and plenty of photos in full colour splashed across the page. It made it a really accessible book to get into as someone who isn't particularly well-versed in the world of fashion. I'm disabled and rarely have the spoons for high effort looks, and can't afford the fancy stuff, so I prefer not to tease myself too much and generally prefer sticking to the historical periods that match up with my historical interests. Despite my lack of knowledge, everything was easy to understand and follow, the images were eye-catching, and the information was interesting and useful. The book covers topics such as makeup, cosplay, hijabs, henna, ribbon work, hair, heels, and more. I would have loved to see photos of or interviews with disabled fashion experts (none of the images showed visibly disabled people and none of the text addressed it) and I would have loved to see a section on tattoos as part of fashion and culture, but it is a quick book that is meant to be more introductory than all-encompassing, so there would be some areas left unexplored. Overall, this is an interesting and fun introduction to the place where fashion/beauty and culture intersect, and anyone ages 10+ remotely interested in modern fashion will find something to enjoy here. Recommended!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    When I read the description for The Power of Style and learned that Christian Allaire created the book because he never saw himself appropriately represented in the fashion industry, I was excited to learn more about Allaire's story and Ojibwe roots. What I got while reading The Power of Style wasn't just one perspective, but an intersectional call for inclusivity. Allaire and other indigenous fashion creators are represented, but so are members of the Black, the LGBTQIA+, and Asian communities. When I read the description for The Power of Style and learned that Christian Allaire created the book because he never saw himself appropriately represented in the fashion industry, I was excited to learn more about Allaire's story and Ojibwe roots. What I got while reading The Power of Style wasn't just one perspective, but an intersectional call for inclusivity. Allaire and other indigenous fashion creators are represented, but so are members of the Black, the LGBTQIA+, and Asian communities. It was so refreshing to see a fashion book focused on a truly diverse cast of creators and models. Cultural hairstyles, religious garments, and diverse bodies are truly celebrated in this book. While fashion universally has the ability to inspire, this book did not come with any guilt with how someone should look or present themselves. It was so uplifting to see models, actors, and creators being vulnerable with the reader in order to uplift the entire fashion community. On a much smaller note, it was really cool to see how innovation affects the fashion industry. I was really interested in the story of a scientist who went from their chemistry training to shoe designing in order to break down gender roles. I also had a lot of fun learning about the origins of cosplay and what cosplay has become now as inclusivity and creativity is becoming more and more accepted in the craft. I have never been a cosplayer or even a great consumer of fashion, but this short fashion book was refreshing and a great informative read. I've learned that fashion is so much more than consumerism, but can be an honest celebration of diversity, acceptance, and pride.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richetta

    Fashion is not usually something I read about. But when I saw the cover of this book featuring an Indigenous designer I was immediately intrigued. If you know a BIPOC pre-teen or teen who is into fashion, then run and go get them this book! So much of fashion is from a European perspective and when cultural elements from underrepresented groups are incorporated, they are appropriated instead of appreciated and respected. This book highlights BIPOC fashion and the designers behind it.  This book h Fashion is not usually something I read about. But when I saw the cover of this book featuring an Indigenous designer I was immediately intrigued. If you know a BIPOC pre-teen or teen who is into fashion, then run and go get them this book! So much of fashion is from a European perspective and when cultural elements from underrepresented groups are incorporated, they are appropriated instead of appreciated and respected. This book highlights BIPOC fashion and the designers behind it.  This book has everything from clothing to hair to makeup to cosplay costumes. The author is a fashion and style writer for Vogue magazine. She is Ojibwe and in her intro she states she “rarely saw my people represented in magazines or in movies.” Working in fashion, she has met many others who have felt the same and that is what inspired this book.  I came for… a perspective on fashion for those who are underrepresented I stayed for…. Fashion from a cultural perspective Hot Cocoa Moments: I’ve seen ribbon work before, but I had no idea the significance of it. I’m glad I learned more from this book. Also I’m glad the discussion on natural hair and Black women’s relationship with it was included. Check out my blog, Cocoa With Books, www.cocoawithbooks.com, for the full review and educator recommendations.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Style, Fashion, and Beauty are all words with inherent appeal - having a book that has short patches of readable text, written by someone whose work normally appears in Elle, Flare, or Vogue, gives it greater authenticity up-front. Allaire, writing from the point of view of someone who, growing up on a reservation in northern Ontario, didn't ever see himself or his culture reflected in any media, whether print or on screen. In this book he takes the opportunity to show different ways cultures are Style, Fashion, and Beauty are all words with inherent appeal - having a book that has short patches of readable text, written by someone whose work normally appears in Elle, Flare, or Vogue, gives it greater authenticity up-front. Allaire, writing from the point of view of someone who, growing up on a reservation in northern Ontario, didn't ever see himself or his culture reflected in any media, whether print or on screen. In this book he takes the opportunity to show different ways cultures are reflected. There are some great things about this book, such as its copious photographs, that complement and add to the text. Its subject matter is diverse and inclusive, talking about men wearing heels, how people create cosplay characters to break stereotypes, and fashions that cross and celebrate different cultures. Readers will be introduced to models, artists, and stylists that will allow them how special, and beautiful, it is to wear a hijab, have natural hair, and other ways in which people have come to show who they are, and where they are from.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Great pictures to that illustrate the book's details about frontiers of style, looking at ribbon culture, make-up, cosplay, hijab and gay fashion. Allaire wants to see how people traditionally ignored by the high fashion world are insisting on their own stories and beauty. So he not only features traditional cultures (Indigenous, Muslim) but also celebrates plus-sized figures and gender-bending creators who break stereotypes to wear high heels (men) and modest clothing (women). I did feel a bit Great pictures to that illustrate the book's details about frontiers of style, looking at ribbon culture, make-up, cosplay, hijab and gay fashion. Allaire wants to see how people traditionally ignored by the high fashion world are insisting on their own stories and beauty. So he not only features traditional cultures (Indigenous, Muslim) but also celebrates plus-sized figures and gender-bending creators who break stereotypes to wear high heels (men) and modest clothing (women). I did feel a bit lost at times because I am so fashion-clueless that I didn't know much about the things the artists pictured were pushing against. Apparently most cosplayers are thin Asian or white women, but I have little idea of what they are doing so I can't really compare the beautiful women on these pages to them. The back matter is a list of photo credits, which I appreciated because the pictures tell the bulk of the story -- Allaire is curating and he does a great job.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vera

    I received an ARC of this book from attending a webinar, and I am so happy I had the chance to read it and hear the author speak about it! The Power of Style is a beautiful book that explores fashion in different cultures and how people use fashion to become their authentic selves. The message of the book is such a powerful one, and I think it will appeal to people of all ages, especially teenagers. I especially love the sensitivity with which Allaire approaches his subject matter and how he is I received an ARC of this book from attending a webinar, and I am so happy I had the chance to read it and hear the author speak about it! The Power of Style is a beautiful book that explores fashion in different cultures and how people use fashion to become their authentic selves. The message of the book is such a powerful one, and I think it will appeal to people of all ages, especially teenagers. I especially love the sensitivity with which Allaire approaches his subject matter and how he is able to showcase so many different cultures on their own terms. His own journey to finding himself and taking pride in his culture is one that strongly resonates with me. In addition to the power of the content of the book, the layout of the book is breathtaking as well. The images just pop off the page and the book is truly a work of art. Highly, highly recommend!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Annick Press Ltd. in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I loved this book from cover to cover. I was waiting for a fashion book that embraced the unique lifestyles of the everyday person. Not all of us are blessed with fashion model bodies and it's hard to embrace our body type and find our style when all we see in magazines and commercials of models with perfect bodies surrounding us everywher This book was received as an ARC from Annick Press Ltd. in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I loved this book from cover to cover. I was waiting for a fashion book that embraced the unique lifestyles of the everyday person. Not all of us are blessed with fashion model bodies and it's hard to embrace our body type and find our style when all we see in magazines and commercials of models with perfect bodies surrounding us everywhere. I am so glad Christian Allaire comprised this book and mentioned all of the women that are not afraid to embrace who they are and show the world. It was very refreshing to read this book and see all of the different styles of the men and women featured in this book. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    SassyBooks

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3/5 What a lovely book! It was way more broad than I expected, including pictures from diverse Indigenous/Native American fashion, but also about natural hair, cosplay, make-up art, fashion with hijabs. Even little sections with "When is it cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation?". It reminds me a little bit of the informative books on different subjects in the library. Not too long, to t The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3/5 What a lovely book! It was way more broad than I expected, including pictures from diverse Indigenous/Native American fashion, but also about natural hair, cosplay, make-up art, fashion with hijabs. Even little sections with "When is it cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation?". It reminds me a little bit of the informative books on different subjects in the library. Not too long, to the point, and a great starting point to explore further. Would've liked some people with disabilities included as well. Overall, the pictures are stunning and this was a nice pick-up inbetween books.

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