New In Books: Jeanne Beker’s Finding Myself In Fashion

The Canadian fashion icon reveals her many highs and lows in the industry and in life

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New In Books: Jeanne Beker's <i>Finding Myself In Fashion</i>

Courtesy of Penguin Group (Canada)

Celebrated Canadian fashion icon (and one of the hardest working women in the biz) Jeanne Beker debuts her second autobiography Finding Myself In Fashion, chronicling the highs and lows of her illustrious career, her many romances and the balancing act we call life.

With her recognizable voice jumping off the page, Beker takes readers throughout the poignant moments in her life from her time as an aspiring actress (and mime!) to being shunned by Sean Puffy Combs, then at the height of his popularity. The book, which acts as a literary thank you card to those who have impacted her career, hosts a multitude of lessons experienced by Beker and those she has interviewed for Fashion Television, like the late Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino and a must-read chapter on Yves Saint Laurent.

Here are a few life lessons and revelations from Beker’s new book:

I remembered what’s at the very heart of fashion: the need to dream, to imagine, to see ourselves in a perfect world, where the right clothes can actually transform us, lead us in new directions, and help us live carefree lives. Great style will never save the world, but sometimes, it can make things a little more tolerable.”

The most successful collections—and the most successful designers—are those that manage to walk the line between practicality and fantasy, a very precarious place to be. Sometimes a designer will strike out with a collection and get panned by the critics. But that kind of failure rarely heralds the end of a career. The following season, the same designer can come back stronger than ever. What’s important is experimenting with new directions. After all, no guts, no glory.”

Great style is about much more than what we wear. If style was solely dependent on the clothes we choose and how we strut them, there would be many more inspiring people on this planet. While the lifeblood of this business may indeed be fashion’s superficial side, I have learned that what’s at the heart of truly great style is personal behaviour–the way we move through the world. That, and the way we treat others.”

The fashion world is filled with some of the most outlandish egos imaginable. After all, personal vision dictates creativity in this arena, and those with the biggest egos often are the ones who make the biggest mark. You have to have a strong sense of yourself to forget ahead, ignore all naysayers, and pursue a dream. And sometimes, as a matter of self-preservation, you do have to look out for yourself. But for the sake of progress, ego often has to be put on a back burner.”

Jeanne Beker’s Finding Myself In Fashion is available in bookstores now.

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