Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Stylish Book Report: Classy by Derek Blasberg

Classy, the bestseller by Derek Blasberg, is a guide to help the youth of America avoid a downward spiral into an embarrassing adulthood.  It is light hearted in its presentation but filled with valuable words of wisdom.  This is not your Emily Post etiquette guide but it just may be the perfect book to give as a gift to the teen (young enough to listen but old enough for curse words and serious topics) that seems destined for disaster.  Derek approaches important topics each guardian would want to broach with an impressionable mind, like the importance of learning, what appearance says about a person, responsible texting, tattoos gone bad, sex tapes, smoking, drinking, drugs, art, culture, and much more from an alternate direction.  If your stern words of caution don’t work in these areas perhaps Derek’s reasoning will appeal to the vanity of youth. 
Reading this as a more experienced person you may feel the guidance is not teaching you much you do not know but you also will find the compilation of humorous essays an amusing social commentary.  The personal experiences and opinions from Mr. Blasberg peppered throughout the book are enough to intrigue as they provide an interesting look into the fabulous and folly of the New York fashion scene.   Just learning or reviewing there is something for everyone to enjoy.
As anticipated, after completing the book and quizzes, I can confirm I am more “lady” than “tramp” by Mr. Blasberg’s definition.  I found many of his thoughts to be familiar to my own, and after reading “A lady goes abroad” and the declaration that “the airport is one of the few remaining places where you might randomly meet a good looking guy,” a point I have been reiterating (despite having no lasting results to speak of) for years, I am convinced we could be friends. Not to say there were not take a ways for me as well.   I found valuable tidbits in each of the chapters.  “A Lady gets dressed,” “A lady receives an invitation,” “A lady throws a party,” “A lady goes abroad,” “A lady makes friends,” “A lady looks for love,” “A lady faces temptation,” and finally “A lady is always learning” were all quite informative and illustrative, even from a “Lady’s” perspective.
Personally, I appreciated several specific areas for the following reasons:
  • -“What your eyebrows say about you” indicated that “an arched brow is for the girl with a slight rebellious streak,” (p38). Coming from a family with a dominant arched brow, almost to a point, I feel this could not be more accurate.  Yes I, and my entire line of family with our genetic peaked eyebrows are all a little rebellious (in a good way).
  • -Providing the accompanying playlist for many situations from dinner, to “getting your dance on” was much appreciated since I never remember the titles of songs.  Thank you Derek.
  • -“A lady throws a party” I appreciated, as the area I think will help me learn the most.  Derek you didn’t need to tell me but that party I threw where people showed up and I was still icing a birthday cake was especially embarrassing.  Sure I have thrown some successful parties and people seem to have fun but his tips can only help me add to the next one.  Now on the list of 2012 action items: “throw the perfect party and be ready on time.”
  • -The aforementioned “A lady goes abroad” chapter was awesome all the way around!  First, I agree with pretty much everything in this chapter, and secondly, I felt like I, for the most part, have it down.   This chapter gave me a nice feeling after replaying my missteps during my last fete in the proceeding chapter.
  • -I also loved the lists of movies, artists, plays, and book recommendations in “A Lady is always learning.”  It may take the dedication of an undergraduate degree in art history, film, and/or fashion to fully review all of them but it is nice to have some reference points to come back to as time permits. 

Scariest part of the book, as a Lady that has made it through the angst of youth, a person that has younger relatives, and hopefully a future mother at some point, is “A lady faces temptation.”  So many scary things in the world that have amplified since I found myself first exposed to temptation.  Just looking at one before and after meth addict photo makes me want to run to my nearest middle school to organize a PSA.  These topics are important but yuck.
As a refresher, a learning tool, or point of quick reference Classy is something to check out.  With short chapters, pictures, and illustrations it is a quick read, or easy to put down and pick up to accommodate a busy schedule.  Whether your perspective is enlightened agreement, or youthful sponge there is something to take away from the humorous yet insightful tales from Derek Blasberg. 

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