Friday, June 21, 2013
The Time-Traveling Fashionista
At Christmas time I was scouring the Internet for fashion books for 'tweens' in hope to inspire my step-daughter who is 10 to embrace fashion. By amazon accident I came across the author Bianca Turetsky and her Time-Travelling Fashionista.
This is a series of historical fiction that targets the real fashion savvy tween or teen. I am not a fiction fan but I was in love with the character and her knowledge and love of fashion! The author opted for beautiful fashion illustrations which made me love the books even more.
The main character is a bright, fashion-passionate girl named Louise who knows her designer brands. She follows contemporary fashion while being captivated by fashions past. An invitation to a Vintage sale sparks her Fashion time travel adventures, first On Board The Titanic and At the palace of Marie Antoinette.
I adore the books quotations that precede the chapters and at the back of the second book there are many facts about Marie Antoinette as well as resources for further reading!
I had a chance to chat with the author recently about her sweet and stylish series,
LISA: What inspired you to write historical fiction? What was your goal in writing the series?
BIANCA: It seems strange but I never set out to write historical fiction. I was a terrible history student in school because I never saw the narrative. I saw history more as pure memorization of dates and wars and presidents. But history is actually like a good novel, with drama and fascinating characters who have their own relationships and conflict. Seeing history through fashion was a whole different, and far more exciting, experience for me. I feel like my books are kind of like a Trojan horse- there’s a lot of information hidden inside a pretty pink party dress.
It wasn’t necessarily my initial goal, but my favorite thing is when the girls finish my books and then want to read and learn more about that particular moment in history. I had initially wanted to encourage some budding fashionistas, but it seems like I’m inspiring some young historians as well. It’s beyond what I had hoped for!
LISA: Who/What inspired the main character Louise?
BIANCA: Louise is definitely a lot like I was at 12 years old with her frizzy hair, braces, vintage clothes obsession, swim team, and suburban CT upbringing. But she definitely gets to experience a lot more exciting adventures than I did in 7th grade!
LISA: What are your FAV pieces from your personal Vintage collection?
BIANCA: I have this beautiful vintage canary yellow Fendi sundress that looks like it was from the 50’s that I wore to my book release party for the first book. It’s funny- some girls grow up dreaming about their wedding dresses, I grew up dreaming about what I would wear to my book party. It totally lived up to expectations. And the fun thing is you get to have more than one!
LISA: If you had one piece of style advice for my readers, what would it be?
BIANCA: Be yourself and have fun doing it! Fashion is such a creative and easy way to express yourself. There’s a Kate Spade quote I have in the book that says, “ I think that playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends.” I totally live by that philosophy. I’ve worn several things that I would probably not repeat, but who cares. At the time it felt like “me,” and I’ve realized that “me” is always in flux. Especially when you’re 12, it’s hard to do your own thing and have your own style. I try and encourage girls to not follow the crowd, just because everyone else in your class has the same Abercrombie tank top, doesn’t mean you need one. And hopefully that spills over to other parts of their lives as well.
LISA: Where did your love for Vintage fashion come from? when did you start collecting?
BIANCA: side from writing and swimming, vintage fashion was my other main passion growing up. My grandmother was quite the fashionista, and I remember sitting in her closet trying on her high-heeled shoes and swimming her ball gowns. In the suburban town I lived in, Fairfield CT, we didn’t really have vintage stores. And in the era I grew up in, which would be the 80s and 90s, we didn’t have ebay or etsy, so I spent a lot of time dragging my friends along to the local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores sorting through the Ann Taylor mom sweaters to try and find something cool and unique. The treasure hunt aspect of it was half the fun.
LISA: Where will the Time Travelling Fashionista go next?
BIANCA: The third Fashionista book, Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, comes out in December! Louise is going to have a stylish adventure in Ancient Egypt, with a little stopover on the set of the infamous Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra film.
Want to take a trip back in time and win an autographed copy of The Time Traveling Fashionita: On Board The Titanic?
Tell me in the comments below what time period in fashion you love the most and why!
I will pick a winner on WED JUNE 26. Be as creative and detailed as you want .... let your imagination run away in your closet.