By Isabel Toledo with illustrations by Ruben Toledo.
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Isabel told me that she wrote all her notes in longhand (rather than computerize them), and it was only when Ruben said “I have the perfect illustration to go along with that thought”, that it was included in the final edit. In the introduction, Isabel describes the entire writing process as a “vulnerable and intimate undertaking, not unlike the process of making clothes”. She goes on to say that style and fashion “inspires optimism” for her, and gives her the tools to communicate. She also observes that “fashion is what time looks like”, and admits that when Michelle Obama wore her coat and dress “on that gloriously frozen Inauguration Day, I was woven into time and into history itself”.
This is a very revealing and personal look inside the life, mind, and soul of one of our generation’s most revered fashion designers. Isabel hopes to inspire those who read it to “follow their instincts, trust their individuality, and discover their own personal style signature”. Speaking of individuality and style, the subject of Raf Simons, (Dior’s new designer), came up and the Toledos said he is a friend and they agree it is a wonderful choice. I for one, completely concur as I have always been a big fan of Mr. Simons’. I appreciate his aesthetic, which has been consistent from the start. His designs are always beautiful, smart, chic, supremely luxurious in a most modern way, and perfectly balanced, and he never demeans or insults women. He is never funny or ironic, as so many other designers can be (and we know who they are, right?)