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Living - October 10, 2008

Stylin'

Fashion guru Isaac Mizrahi appearing in Diablo

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Style, by definition, is supposed to be fun, says fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi. The designer, whose line of high style clothing is carried at Target, is a delight to watch - and he's coming to town.

Rakestraw Books in Danville is putting together a book/fashion/fundraiser event at Diablo Country Club, to take place Thursday evening. The $40 ticket price will benefit Wardrobe for Opportunity, which provides professional clothes for low-income job seekers.

The price includes Mizrahi's new book, "How to Have Style."

He states on Web-i-sodes on his site that he'd been thinking about writing a book to help people find their own style for about 25 years, since he was in high school.

"It's a very big, big question to pose - how to have style - but I swear if you get this book you're going to get the answers," he said.

"You have to look at this book as a fun, easy way to solve the problem," he added. "Stop thinking about it as this giant weight on your shoulders. You don't want to do homework at 40 - you want to have fun."

Mizrahi sees himself as a problem solver, and his book covers subjects from having style on a budget, when you're not a size 12, how to wear colors, and "waking up from a Jeans Coma."

He also gives advice on how to look good every time you have your picture taken - by standing right, positioning your head correctly, and putting your best side to the camera. And he includes shopping advice - from how to shop for just one thing to the importance of sometimes shopping without buying anything.

Rakestraw owner Michael Barnard said pairing the author with Wardrobe for Opportunity was a natural. Rakestraw also contributed to Wardrobe's spring fundraiser with tickets to meet Barbara Walter at the store in May and receive a book to be signed.

"Our co-sponsors are covering the fixed costs at Diablo Country Club so the money donated will go to Wardrobe of Opportunity and its clients," said Barnard. Other sponsors include Keller King Inc., Caroline Susanna & Jack Schlendorf Pacific Union RE, Onstad's Insurance, Susan Foord Catering & Café, Forward Motion and the Danville Weekly.

At the event, Mizrahi will talk about his new book, take questions from the audience, and sign books. The festivities will include a fashion show styled by Danville wardrobe consultant Carolyn Rovner of C2Style. Models will be clients of Wardrobe for Opportunity wearing items from Mizrahi's line at Target.

"I'm getting one piece per model from Target and the rest from Wardrobe for Opportunity," said Rovner.

"I've been very aware of Isaac for many, many years," she said. "When he decided to do a line for Target, I always looked at it."

"My job is to interpret personal style based on wardrobe needs, what they like and their lifestyle," Rovner explained. "I shop everywhere."

She said Mizrahi's look is "modern preppy with a twist."

"You get something for your money in lower price point items," she said. Then women can wear a piece for a couple of seasons and discard it with a good conscience, she explained.

Meanwhile, back on his Web site, Mizrahi says jackets are going to be the big thing in the office this fall.

"I think a jacket over anything makes it look kind of grown up … chic, believable and authoritarian," he said. "Suddenly jackets look like that - jackets over dresses, jackets over sweaters, jackets over pants."

Want to learn more - plus see this dynamo in action at a fun fashion show for a good cause? Call Rakestraw Books for tickets at 837-7337.

Joy of fashion

What: How to Have Style with Isaac Mizrahi: A Book Event and Fashion Show

When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16

Where: Diablo Country Club

Cost: $40, includes Mizrahi's book, "How to Have Style"

Tickets: Call Rakestraw Books, 837-7337

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