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Guides To Style

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 Manteau D'Hiver De Paul Poiret., Digital ID 824779, New York Public LibrarySomeone who knows the meaning of everything old being new again is Tim Gunn. Gunn, a former academic at the Parsons School of Design, entered pop culture fame as the host of the television show Project Runway, and other reality series. From his latest tv venture, he has produced a book entitled A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style. The guide book is a particularly Victorian invention, since the Victorians were all such earnest improvers. To see two original examples of this, Lola Montez's The Arts of Beauty (1858) and Mrs. Haweis's The Art of Beauty (1878) come to mind. 

Jane Austen, who had a keen knowledge of the pop culture of her time, echoes an opinion held by many. In her novel Mansfield Park, she reproves, "We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be." I'll be watching the sales on Gunn's book...

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