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Does this make me look ‘me’?

  Award-winning fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi believes every woman has the potential to look good.
  From the New York runways to designing apparel and home furnishings for Target to his current role, creative director for the Liz Claiborne company, Mizrahi is known for creating fashionable classics that can stay in your closet — and on you — for a while without suddenly one day turning into a pumpkin, stylewise. Mizrahi also designs for real-sized women. Not for him is the snobbery of the size 0, the not-so-subtle message some designers send, ‘‘You’re too big to wear my precious clothes.’’
  Mizrahi puts these sensibilities into ‘‘How to Have Style’’ (2008, Gotham Books). Its aim is to show women how to develop a consistent, wearable, individualized style of dress. The idea of personal style is not to look like everybody else, or to look like one person one day and another the next. The idea is to look like yourself. Every day.
   The designer introduces his style manual with a belief that should be drummed into every child from the time she starts to understand language — that she is beautiful. Now. Period. Not that she will be someday if she does this and that and/or copies Audrey or Jackie or Marilyn or Paris or the Hollywood flavor of the month. She doesn’t need fixing. She doesn’t need to put off looking good until a ‘‘someday’’ that somehow never arrives.
   With the help of 12 models, from teenager to mature, struggling student to well-to-do matron, scrawny to statuesque, Mizrahi demonstrates that every woman can look very good indeed, by developing her own style — a style that emphasizes her best qualities and her unique personality. How much more life-affirming that is than relentlessly scouring ourselves for faults in a hopeless and joyless pursuit of perfection.
   ‘‘How to Have Style’’ is interesting, informative and encouraging, with lots of great photos and good advice on virtually every page.

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