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Crowdsourced guide to women's fashion

By Associated Press ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-09-10 07:36:52

In 1995 an advertising executive named Ilene Beckerman narrated her life story through the clothes she wore at different ages. Nearly 15 years later, Nora and Delia Ephron turned her whimsical conceit for an autobiography into a smash off-Broadway hit.

Now novelists Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits and writer-illustrator Leanne Shapton have enlisted 639 women around the globe to fill out surveys about what they wear, why they wear it and how it makes them feel. Their responses are mingled with celebrity interviews, personal essays, quirky illustrations and photographs to form a crowdsourced style guide that manages to be both charming and exasperating.

Due to the sheer size of 500 pages, you're bound to find things that strike you as smart, funny and true, such as this tidbit from a 63-year-old hospice nurse: "My mother-in-law once said, 'Save all the pictures of yourself that you hate. In 30 years you'll think you look fabulous'." Other contributors come off as self-involved or pretentious, such as the woman who calls a phase of her life a "gesamtkunstwerk", German for total work of art.

Crowdsourced guide to women's fashion

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