Style is more than fashion, more than a mere follower of trends. Style is innovation, creation and inspiration - with a personal twist. But where does this inspiration come from? The answer is both simple and complex: everywhere you look (if only you know how to look). Some are born with that talent. Many have to learn it. The majority look to the visuals of magazines and television. Here at last is a book which will help the reader to find inspiration in the patina of the world around them. One of the book's powerful punches lies in the juxtaposition of stunning images. The earliest example is a portrait of an Indian army commander clad in tartan and taken in 1865; facing him is picture of a Japanese painter in the 1920s, also dressed in plaid. One can imagine either of these gentlemen gracing the catwalks of a Comme des Garcons show in Paris last week. There are enormous bathing suits from neck to knee and itsy-bitsy bikinis, exotic hair-dos and oriental gems, knobbly knits and loads of lace. There is a smattering of celebrities; Twiggy is teamed with a swaggering fish seller, Brigitte Bardot gazes at the Dutch painter von Dongen, and models, singers and sailors all strut their stuff. It is all about stylish contrasts, strange situations and rarely glimpsed pictures, all set to get the mind buzzing and the creative juices flowing.
Elizabeth Walker worked initially at Harpers & Queen, as an art director then later as both the men's and women's fashion editor. On leaving the glossy market she moved to the Saturday Telegraph, the Times and Sunday Times, and wrote style pieces for the Weekend Financial Times. She then became Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor on Marie Claire. Today she is a freelance Fashion Consultant and writer.