My book comes out today.
When I was about halfway done, but had one of those days when I felt at my wit’s end, the editor from the publishing house called. „We’re printing the cover in three different colours. Also, we’re trying to embroider the title on each book. If we can get it to work, it’s going to be amazing.“
Looking at the book – my book – on the desk next to me right now, in three different colours and with the embroidered title, I can only say this: She was right. This is pretty damn amazing.
It still feels unreal to say that. It hadn’t occurred to me until a few days ago that this book was actually coming out. I started working on it last spring, stopped, picked it and myself up again. I wrote at night and rewrote everything again the next day. I fretted, I edited pictures until I could see only pixels, I asked myself: Why did you want to write this book again? Not just write it, but photograph it? Are you insane? Are you ever going to get it done? And why is the bag of Haribo Fantasia empty again?
Stilvoll started with a very different question: What am I going to wear? It’s something I ask myself every morning. Sometimes I come up with a good answer, sometimes not. And when I can’t think of anything at all, I try to imagine how a woman I admire would do it. Since I don’t get the chance to ask all the different women who inspire me and whose style I love for their advice every day, I thought I’d do it for the book. I asked them what they wear when they don’t have much time to get dressed. When they want to impress. When they want to feel beautiful, proud, self-confident. I wanted to know why they wear what they wear. What fashion means to them. What secrets they keep in their closets. And sometimes I simply asked: Those jeans – where from?
Joy Denalane told me about her love for imperfections and why a bomber jacket looks best when it’s already fraying at the cuffs. Claire Beermann about why getting dressed without a mirror makes you fearless and how to experiment with the classic men’s shirt in a dozen different ways. Eva Padberg about which dresses makes you feel confident at any party. Fanny Moizant from Vestiaire Collective about smart shopping and the true secret to French style. Alex Eagle about how to put together a wardrobe that enables you to look impeccably chic in seven minutes flat. I also met Jessica Weiß, actress Hannah Herzsprung and her stylist Leena Zimmermann, costume and set designer Aino Laberenz, Malin Elmlid, Ariane Stippa, Alex Bohn, Stefanie Luxat and many more, who all had very smart, insightful and funny things to say about style.
I tried to be equally as smart, insightful and funny in my own answers. Some of my tips are purely practical, such as how to care for cashmere or what to look for in a blazer. There are lots of ideas in Stilvoll for how to wear old favourites in new ways. And what new things you might want to add to your wardrobe. Then there are the questions that go a bit deeper. Questions like „Who do I really get dressed for?“ or „What’s up, perfectionism?“ (I paraphrase)
Despite all of the nightshifts I spent working on Stilvoll and the lasting dark circles under my eyes, the two main things I’m taking away from the experience of writing and photographing this book is how proud I am. And how much fun I had. And I hope that you will too when you read it. I truly believe that you can take fashion very seriously and lightly at the same time and I wanted to write about it in the same way I talk about it almost every day: with joy and honesty, humour and self-deprecation, a lot of affection and a little bit of thoughtfulness. And I wanted to show fashion in the way I see it: As something that can be insanely beautiful and very real. Something that should ultimately give you that feeling that you sometimes get when you put on a new dress in the changing room and think: you look pretty damn amazing.
| And here’s a making-of-video that shows you how the title was embroidered on each book. I could tell you that this is an absolute novetly on the book market. A real innovation. That the publishing house didn’t spare any effort. Which is all true. Or I could just say that I’m incredibly happy and moved that Callwey did this for my book.