Important note about COVID Red Settings:

At Red, our libraries are open with the COVID vaccine pass for people aged over 12 years and three months, contact tracing and face masks required to keep the community and staff safe. Please stay home if you are unwell. Learn more about visiting our branches at Red.

Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Search options

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Tag: Fashion Page 1 of 25

Let’s Get Kawaii!

It is said that we all have an aesthetic, and while I would name my own personal aesthetic as “obnoxious toddler in an adult’s body” (rainbow tights, glitter shoes, anything a four year old would stamp their foot and demand), I am a HUGE fan of all things kawaii.  Kawaii is the Japanese culture of cuteness – it refers to items of all types that are cute, charming, vulnerable, shy and childlike.  Think creatures with big eyes, rainbow pastels, unicorns, glitter, adorable food, etc.

One of the things I love best about kawaii culture is that there is a strong element of creativity.  From styling your hair, outfits and make-up kawaii, to making food look kawaii and making your own art and crafts, there is something in kawaii culture for all skill levels and interests.

I’ve put together some books to guide you along the way and maybe teach you a new skill.

Kawaii resin & clay workshop : crafting super-cute charms, miniatures, figures, & more / Lee, Alex

“From Alex Lee of popular YouTube channel and Instagram account PolymomoTea, Kawaii Resin and Clay Workshop presents tutorials for creating adorable jewelry and gifts with resin and polymer clay.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pure invention : how Japan’s pop culture conquered the world / Alt, Matt

“Through the stories of an indelible group of artists, geniuses, and oddballs, Pure Invention reveals how Japanese ingenuity remade global culture and may have created modern life as we know it. It’s Japan’s world; we’re just gaming, texting, singing, and dreaming in it.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kawaii crochet : 40 super cute crochet patterns for adorable amigurumi / Bradley, Melissa

“Hook up a rainbow kawaii goodness with this super-cute collection of 40 amigurumi patterns from modern crochet designer Yarn Blossom Boutique. From three adorable peas in a pod, to a winking fortune cookie, these 40 fun and easy amigurumi makes will bring the Japanese culture of cuteness into your hands and your heart.” (Catalogue)

The power of cute / May, Simon

“An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions Cuteness has taken the planet by storm. Global sensations Hello Kitty and Pok mon, the works of artists Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum and E.T.–all reflect its gathering power. But what does “cute” mean, as a sensibility and style? Why is it so pervasive? Is it all infantile fluff, or is there something more uncanny and even menacing going on–in a lighthearted way? In The Power of Cute, Simon May provides nuanced and surprising answers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The super cute book of kawaii / Smith, Marceline

“The Japanese word kawaii means lovable or adorable. Welcoming a little kawaii into your life is like opening the window and letting a sparkling sunbeam in. Whenever you feel a little low turn to this squishy, padded-covered book. Find fun ideas to: make a cozy kawaii home; playful, confidence boosting styling and beauty tips; and recipes that will make your smile. This book includes 10 easy how-to projects to bring kawaii into your life. Here, you’ll also find a host of very special kawaii mascots that will always be ready to give you a hug when you need one: The Octonauts, Smiling Bear, Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Molang, Ricemonsters, Miffy the Rabbit, the Moomins, Donutella, Unicorno, Moofia and Pusheen. Escape into the magical world of kawaii.” (Catalogue)

Kawaii cakes : adorable & cute Japanese-inspired cakes & treats / Sear, Juliet

“Over 30 cute Japanese-inspired cakes, cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts, cake pops and more.

Kawaii Cakes is a baking and decorating book containing 30 recipes for cute Japanese-inspired cakes, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, cake pops, and more. Each design is super-quick, very cute, and really easy to make. Try a troll cookie, a unicorn cupcake, cute kitten donuts, bunny rabbit macaroons, and more. With easy step-by-step instructions on how to ice and decorate your creations to perfection, these are the perfect gift or dessert. From larger cakes to small cookies and cupcakes, there’s something to suit every occasion. And, best of all, these saccharine-sweet treats not only look amazing, they also taste delicious Fun, tasty, and super-kawaii, it’s time to get your bake on” (Catalogue)

Kawaii! : Japan’s culture of cute / Okazaki, Manami

“Showcasing Japan’s astonishingly varied culture of cute, this volume takes the reader on a dazzling and adorable visual journey through all things kawaii. Although some trace the phenomenon of kawaii as far back as Japan’s Taisho era, it emerged most visibly in the 1970s when schoolgirls began writing in big, bubbly letters complete with tiny hearts and stars. From cute handwriting came manga, Hello Kitty, and Harajuku, and the kawaii aesthetic now affects every aspect of Japanese life. As colorful as its subject matter, this book contains numerous interviews with illustrators, artists, fashion designers, and scholars. It traces the roots of the movement from sociological and anthropological perspectives and looks at kawaii’s darker side as it morphs into gothic and gloomy iterations. Best of all, it includes hundreds of colorful photographs that capture kawaii’s ubiquity: on the streets and inside homes, on lunchboxes and airplanes, in haute couture and street fashion, in caf s, museums, and hotels.” (Catalogue)

The little book of kawaii

“Introducing The Little Book of Kawaii, dedicated to all things kawaii. This new title will explain the Japanese subculture that has found its way into the designs and hearts of artists and people all over the globe. The book will cover “kawaii noir” the dark and sexy side of this existing subject, as well as food, fashion, toys, characters and pixel art. Through illustration, graphic design and photography, this book shows how this culture has made its impact on our lives.” (via Google Books)

Also, if you want to wander down the road of kawaii films, there’s no better place to start than Studio Ghibli.  My favourites include:

It’s Fashion Week: books to make you think

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsI love fashion and I love fashion week. But with fast fashion causing 10% of carbon emissions (predicted to rise to 25% if nothing changes) according to the United Nations Environment Project, now is as good a time as any to think about how the clothes we love affect the world we live in. It’s important to do your own reading, though: this is a contentious issue, where privilege, monetary concerns and environmental matters intersect. This is just what Wellington Libraries has; there’s plenty more out there!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWardrobe crisis : how we went from Sunday best to fast fashion is a good overview – written by a fashion insider- of how the fashion industry encourages consumption, where fast fashion started, and some interesting suggestions on how to change your own fashion habits. I haven’t had the chance to read Fashionopolis: The Price Of Fast Fashion & The Future Of Clothes as it’s a new order but it has got good reviews so it’s a must read on the costs of being on-trend.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsChange is in the air, though. Slow fashion : aesthetics meets ethics showcases new companies and new approaches to making fashion ecologically and socially friendly. If you want to apply these to your own wardrobe, there’s The Conscious Closet : The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good, another new order, which will focus on personal changes. My own favourite is Craft of Use: post-growth fashion, which has many inspiring stories of clothes that endure.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSecondhand/thrift shopping is another way to maximize your look while being eco (and budget) friendly: Thriftstyle : the ultimate bargain shopper’s guide to smart fashion has some great tips and is a great read.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDIY is becoming more and more popular, so if sewing your own clothes is a bit too intimidating, try mending the ones you have: Mending matters which teaches you how to repair your denim, and Visible mending : artful stitchery to repair and refresh your favorite things are great places to start.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThen you could try altering your clothes: DIY wardrobe makeovers : alter, refresh & refashion your clothes is amazing. I also love Stylish remakes which has some really cool ideas about how to change up what you already have. Then there’s Simple tailoring & alterations, a more technique-heavy book which will instruct you on how to hem and alter.

If you do want to start making your own clothes, we have so many books to help you get going. Dewey numbers 646 (sewing) and 746 (textile arts, which include knitting and crochet) are good places to get started.

New books

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHero at the fall, Alwyn Hamilton

Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and the Demdji powers she’s struggling to control, Amani must rally a crew of rebels to take on the bloodthirsty sultan of Miraji and free the imprisoned prince Ahmed. But as the rescue mission travels through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist, Amani questions whether she is leading them all to their deaths. (Publisher summary)

First lines: I woke from a sleep filled with nightmares to the sound of my name.
I was already reaching for a gun when I recognised Sara’s face above me, swimming in and out of focus as my eyes blurred with exhaustion.
My grip on the trigger eased. It wasn’t an enemy, just Sara, the guardian of the Hidden House.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsObsidio, Amie Kaufman and Jay kristoff (#3 in the Illumiane Files)

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza–but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?(Publisher summary)

First lines: Crowhurst, G: Perhaps we should get proceedings under way? Miss Donnelly, is the video feed operating at your end?
Donnelly, H: We can see you, Mr. Crowhurst.
Crowhurst, G: Thank you for making yourself available to us today. Please state your name and occupation for the record.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe beauty that remains, Ashley Woodfolk

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Autumn is a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect. But death might pull them apart– when tragedy strikes each of them, music is no longer enough. Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend; Shay is struggling to keep it together; Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered. It is possible for one band’s music to reunite them and prove that beauty thrives in the people left behind? (Publisher summary)

First lines: I saw you yesterday.
There’s no way this is real. It’s can’t be.
I keep waiting for you to call.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFaceless, Alyssa Sheinmel

Maisie is a normal sixteen-year-old, until an electrical fire caused by a lightning strike leaves her with severe burns, her face partially destroyed–she is lucky enough to get a full face transplant but she soon discovers how much her looks shaped her own identity and her relationship with those around her, including her boyfriend. (Publisher summary)

First lines: Step, breath. Step, breath.
My best friend, Serena, doesn’t understand why I run. She said once that of all the different forms of working out, she thought running seemed like the absolute worst. The most punishing. Of course, Serena does yoga.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRide, Lisa Glass

As a professional surfer, seventeen-year-old Iris has travelled the sun-kissed beaches of the globe. But after a tumultuous week in Miami leaves her heartbroken, Iris returns to her home town in the south coast of England. Putting her promising career on hold. Leaving behind Zeke, the boy who changed her world. Iris is desperate to get back to her old life, to the family and friends she grew up with. She wants to rediscover her passion for surfing. She needs to move on. But Iris soon realises it won’t be that simple. Because while a summer romance might only last the season, first loves never truly leave you…(Publisher information)

First lines: The Florida wind in my face, I paddle into shark park, acutely aware of several long-lens cameras trained on me. I’ve made the decision to stop wearing bikinis when I compete, even in warm water. Instead, I’ll dress in either a one-piece swimsuit with men’s boardshorts and my contest jersey, or, if I can surf without getting cooked by neoprene, a spring wetsuit.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe belles, Dhonielle Clayton

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever. (Publisher information)

First lines: We all turned sixteen today, and for any normal girl that would mean raspberry and lemon macarons and tiny pastel blimps and pink champagne and card games. Maybe even a teacup elephant.
But not for us. Today is our debut. There are only six of us this year.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsChildren of blood and bone, Tomy Adeyemi

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy. (Publisher summary)

First lines: Pick me.
It’s all I can do not to scream. I dig my nails into the marula oak of my staff and squeeze to keep from fidgeting. Beads of sweat drip down my back, but I can’t tell if it’s from dawn’s early heat or from my heart slamming against my chest. Moon after moon I’ve been passed over. Today can’t be the same.

Fashion Friday

By fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia, Gio_Graphy is very fashion and very fun, and the perfect holiday indulgence.

Syndetics book coverGio_graphy : fun in the wild world of fashion / Giovanna Battaglia.
“A witty guide to living the glam the life from an international style star, featuring hilarious anecdotes, fashion advice, and much more. Dubbed a “cyber icon” and “fashion heroine” by the New York Times, Italian fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia is known for her colorful street style and fun-loving personality. Her monthly column in W chronicles fashion, art, and adventure. In this, her first book, she has written an irreverent how-to guide for dressing for every occasion, finding fashion inspiration, living stylishly, and having fun while doing it. Covering style and beauty for daytime, nighttime, travel, and work, this book is brimming with chic and inspirational wisdom, from how to pull off bold fashion moves like barely-there tops, enormous hats, and powerful reds; advice for how to survive fashion emergencies (like what happens when you show up to an event in the same dress as someone else); and her secrets for donning multiple outfits in a day (bodysuits are key). Also featured are tips and tricks she has learned from fashion-world friends such as Carolina Herrera, Derek Blasberg, Hamish Bowles, and Anna Dello Russo. Filled with humor and style, this is a must-have book for anyone interested in fashion and having a good time”–Publisher’s description.

Fashion Friday


Attn: RuPaul fans! Find all your fave drag artists and meet some new ones in Drags. Like the queens themselves, this book is beautiful, fun and totally glam.

Syndetics book coverDrags / photographed by Gregory Kramer ; designed by Rachel Bernstein.
“-A photo series documenting the drag queens and kings of New York City, through glamorous black-and-white photographs -Appeals to photography and popular culture book buyers and collectors, as well as national and international LGBTQ communities, fashion enthusiasts, and fashion boutiques/home decor stores -Beautifully designed coffee table book Drags is a photo series documenting the drag queens and kings of New York City, shot by director/photographer Gregory Kramer. Presented in the style of classic fashion portraiture, the collection features legends – and up-and-coming legends – in glamorous black and white, full-length studio portraits. Inspired by Irving Penn, each photo brings out the spirit of the performer through subtle pose, gesture and facial expression. Included in the volume are five stories written by vital pillars of the scene. Charles Busch writes about how it feels to be in drag and his utmost respect for female role models, Sasha Velour speaks about the magic and transformative power of drag as an art form, Linda Simpson comments on the generational shift in the community, Goldie Peacock presents a distinct point of view from a drag king, while Sweetie pays homage to the queens who’ve come before.” (Syndetics summary)

Fashion Feature

Nail your scandi look with Pernille Teisbæk’s Dress Scandinavian. You’ll be instantly more chic and edgy (trust us).

Syndetics book coverDress Scandinavian / Pernille Teisbæk.
“Scandinavia has long been the home of outstanding interior design and classic fashion brands and no one personifies modern Danish cool as well as fashion industry stylist, blogger and model Pernille Teisbaek.

In her gorgeous first book Pernille offers professional tips on how to create a minimalist wardrobe and look, mix and match patterns successfully, adopt androgynous looks or new colour combinations, try out new materials and mix fabrics, plus plenty of timeless fashion advice such as a jeans-fit guide and essential Dos and Don’ts. Her beauty chapter reveals Pernille’s capsule survival kit and how to achieve her natural look.

Pernille also covers pared-back Scandinavian home design with an eye on balancing elegant simplicity and minimalism with inviting homeliness and warmth, or hygge, and inspirational pictures.

A perfect gift for all Scandi lovers and anyone wanting insider advice from one of fashion’s most stylish experts.” (Syndetics summary)

Fashion Friday

The World Atlas of Street Fashion is basically a dictionary of fashion that will introduce you to styles like seapunk, flogger and junglist. Guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows, this book features global street style like you’ve never seen before.

Syndetics book coverThe world atlas of street fashion / Caroline Cox.
“An extensively researched and generously illustrated volume offering a striking and diverse portrait of street style in cities and cultures around the world. Organized by continent and with 600 color images, The World Atlas of Street Fashion examines street style in all its global diversity. Through its extensive research, striking photography, and handsome design, World Atlas of Street Fashion is the essential resource on world street style.” (adapted from syndetics summary)

Fashion Friday

John Galliano Unseen features the most amazing photos of his work and has a super lush layer of satin over the cover – so glam! If you want to take this out, we recommend bringing your Extra Large Library Bag because this is an Extra Large Book. It’s well worth the lugging though 👌

Syndetics book coverJohn Galliano : unseen / Robert Fairer ; introduction and collection texts by Claire Wilcox ; with a preface by André Leon Talley.
“A striking, sumptuous portfolio of catwalk and behind-the-scene images of John Galliano’s highly creative collections for his eponymous label. Robert Fairer’s long stint as backstage photographer for Vogue gives him a unique perspective, and his exquisite photographs of Galliano’s collections, many of which are published here for the first time, offer insights into the extravagance and playfulness of one of the world’s most flamboyant, innovative, and controversial fashion designers at the zenith of his career.” (adapted from syndetics summary)

Fashion Friday

This book is shelved in the travel section, but don’t be fooled! It’s the ultimate glam fashion read, featuring all the most chic places to visit in Paris. The pages are gold-edged (yes really) and the illustrations are so gorgeous you’ll want to hang them on your wall.

Syndetics book coverParis : through a fashion eye / Megan Hess.
“Paris is an illustrated guide to one of the world’s most-loved fashion cities by one of the world’s most-successful fashion illustrators. In the second of her series of books on classic fashion destinations, Megan Hess takes you on a super stylish adventure through the French capital, showing you the best places for a fashionista to eat, sleep, shop and play – all illustrated in her inimitable, elegant style.

Megan’s tour reveals where fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfield, Chistian Dior and Louis-Francois Cartier worked and played, the top restaurants, hotels, boutiques and sites to visit, as well as Megan’s own personal favorite places to shop. This is a must-have insider’s guide to Paris for any fashion lover or Francophile.” (Syndetics summary)

Fashion Friday

Become a conscious consumer with help from Dress [with] Sense! Getting a greener wardrobe is made super easy with advice from bloggers, activists, producers and models. And don’t be put off; it’s broken down into small steps which feel (and are) really achievable.

Syndetics book coverDress [with] sense / Christina Dean, Hannah Lane, Sofia Tarneberg (Redress) ; illustrated by Charlotte Trounce.
“As part of a growing global awareness of the importance of eco-conscious living, both for the planet and as a means of promoting fair labor practices, more people than ever before are seeking to dress in an environmentally friendly way. On a broader scale, initiatives to promote a more sustainable approach to fashion have made headlines and grown like never before, from the release of the high-profile documentary The True Cost to the launch of the worldwide “Fashion Revolution” campaign.This timely book is organized into four chapters–Buy, Wear, Care, and Dispose–each containing a short introduction with essential information followed by practical tips and illustrated case studies to help you make the first step toward a more sustainable wardrobe. A detailed reference section recommends not only the best ethical fashion labels and collections but also eco-friendly fabrics, standards, and certifications; cleaning methods; renting, swapping, and recycling initiatives; and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Page 1 of 25