After getting past the hokey title, It’s So You proved to be an engaging, insightful, and funny read – the type of book that makes you miss your stop on the subway because you are so engrossed in the text. It’s composed of 35 essays about developing one’s personal style and though some of the pieces are better than others, there is hardly a dud in the collection. Intelligent women with accomplished resumés and voices often marginalized in mainstream fashion share their stories in a way that reads more like a diary entry than an academic essay. Rather than taking on a self-indulgent tone, the bulk of the essays examine the ways in which style intersects with class, race, age, weight, gender identity and presentation, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. Most of the stories would not be out of place in the pages of WORN. If my infinite-thumbs up is not enough to encourage you to pick up this book, perhaps the roster of contributors will do the trick: Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon, beatnik poet Diane di Prima, author and activist Kate Bornstein, and fashion designer Parisa Parnian all make an appearance.
Edited by Michelle Tea – Seal Press
Book Review by Anna Fitzpatrick (Review originally appeared in WORN Fashion Journal issue 11)