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your-body-your-style-amazonTitle: Your Body, Your Style
Author: Rani St. Pucchi
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 150
Genre: Nonfiction

Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most — no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type

* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most

* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit

* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks

* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well

* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI  is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

PURCHASING LINKS:

AMAZON   *   B&N

Chapter One

If there is a seminal moment in my relationship to fashion and designing, the occasion that springs to mind is a summer in Bangkok, Thailand. I must have been about four or five years old. My cousin and I were running feverishly from the ground floor of our townhome to my mother’s bedroom on the fourth floor to get dressed for the movies and we were very late.

I looked at the choices I had and was very disappointed. Even though there were so many options I kept trying and tossing the frocks one by one on the floor. The cupboard now bare, I hit a wall: I’d run out of clothes. I remember so well the frustration and at the same time an ah-ha moment. I decided from henceforth I would choose my own fabrics and design my own clothes. After all who knew better than I what looks good on me?

I thank my parents for drawing me into the magical world of luxury fabrics and laces. As the largest purveyor of fine laces in Thailand their ateliers and showrooms became my playground where I would spend all my spare time. I had the opportunity to be around fine fabrics and get to touch and feel and know them well. I actively participated with my tailors in transforming these fabrics into unique designs for myself.

Fast forward to 1984. I was still living in Bangkok, Thailand and running my small tailoring shop in a prominent hotel, specializing in ready to wear and evening gowns, along with men’s tailored suits. A rare opportunity came my way when a client asked if I would be wiling to bring my collection to showcase at her charity event in San Antonio, Texas.

I was an avid fan of the TV sitcom “Dallas” and always fantasized living the life of such opulence and outrage as the characters depicted in the series! My wish to travel to the United States was a dream come true.

With great enthusiasm I prepared a collection of 54 pieces, comprising of jackets, skirts, blouses and dresses and some evening sheaths. I also thought it would be nice to have a finale piece, and so I designed my very first bridal gown for this purpose.

It was a blush colored wedding gown made of pure Thai Silk, entirely hand embroidered and hand beaded. Little did I know that the one wedding gown would receive so much attention as to catapult my whole life!

Next thing I knew I had already committed to showing a Bridal Collection in Dallas at the Dallas Apparel Mart, which was the ‘go to’ fashion platform where buyers from all over the world congregated. I registered my company on a wing and a prayer, and St. Pucchi was born.

When I launched my first bridal couture collection at the Dallas Apparel Mart in April of 1985 I was unsure if what I had so lovingly put together was of any value to the US bridal market. I was also clueless to the fact that white was the only color worn and accepted by the American bride at the time.

They say ignorance is bliss! By the time I learnt it was too late. My collection had already shipped from Bangkok to Dallas and there was not a single white dress among the sixteen styles I had designed. The colors ranged from ecru, blush, butterscotch and even pale blue.

I comforted myself into believing that perhaps the US bridal industry as it was could use a fresh perspective and hopefully my collection would, at the very least, bring some excitement.

It was pure pleasure to be totally immersed in an unfolding story, on a journey that is never forgotten. My first collection produced in me an intensely emotional and cathartic experience. After all I had invested all my resources and had used up my credit cards to the max. There was so much riding on my success that I could not fathom what the future would look like if…

The Dallas Apparel News ran a front-page story about my premier bridal collection and how it was a harkening of things to come. I was applauded for being a pioneer not only for using pure silks in bridal, which was unheard of at the time, but also for being so bold and daring as to introduce color to bridal wear.

The US bridal industry as we had known it would change forever.

Today, 30 plus years later, with more than 10,000 designs under my belt, I find myself very fortunate and humbled to write this book. The amazing women I’ve had the pleasure to work with during trunk shows, fashion shows, and on my travels across the globe have taught me much.

I have witnessed again and again how looking good can change a woman’s life. I have worked with numerous women, young and old, women getting married, mothers with teenage daughters, women going thru midlife crisis and those going thru menopause. The story they tell themselves is the same. Most are not happy with their bodies and wish they could change something or the other so they can feel confident in themselves.

A woman’s form is the most beautiful, most complex and the most intriguing. Yet we don’t appreciate it enough. We tend to hide parts that we feel are not attractive and we berate ourselves for being too much of this, and not enough of that. Rather than being in awe and working with the form we are blessed with, we spend more time and resources than most of us can afford, on diets and procedures that are rarely long lasting.

We’re on this constant merry-go-round and obsess about our body during every waking moment. Not only that, but the way we talk to ourselves we would not allow anyone to say those words to either our best friends or even our worst enemies!

This book does not pretend to be your road to perfection. The purpose of writing it is to guide you thru simple techniques and suggestions on how to look at your body and see what you can make better.

You are asked to assess and appraise your body type so that you can learn about the most flattering silhouettes to dress in.

You will learn how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas that you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way.

You realize why it is so important to invest in the right lingerie. You learn the importance of fit and simple solutions to your common bra issues.

You are invited to learn a simple process to determine what colors flatter you most and which ones to part with. Color being one of the key elements that makes a woman look more interesting, more self-confident, more self-assured and in control.

You will learn about the one color that is a must staple in every woman’s wardrobe. The one piece of clothing that is a chameleon and that can be transformed into any myriad number of looks.

You are taken on a journey on how your style and taste evolves as you transition from your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, to your 60s and beyond. And you learn that sexy is never out of fashion, nor is it outdated. That in fact the older you get the more confident you become. And you realize that ultimately confidence is really what makes a woman sexy.

You become savvy on how and what to pack for your travels, whether you’re going on a month long vacation, a weekend romantic getaway to an exotic tropical island, or a short business trip.

You learn the simple four step process to sort-and-purge and organize your wardrobe so that no time is wasted in choosing what to wear each day allowing you time to become more productive in life.

You will be able to define your personal style, and become clear on how you wish to be seen in the world. This knowledge will help you embrace your own unique personality and shine.

In this book I share 101 tips and tricks on fashion fixes that help you gain self-confidence, on how to accentuate your strongest features, on dressing sexy. You will receive smart shopping hints and simple style advice for your body type and more…

In these pages I share with you the knowledge that I have garnered and reveal those secrets you will now learn so you too can look like a million regardless of the body you have, or the resources, to access trends that are so fleeting as to make our heads spin!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my knowledge. I hope it serves you.

About the Author

rani-st-pucchiThirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.

Her latest book is Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter.

 

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Four CornersTitle: Four Corners, Or a Book That Will Tickle Your Intellectual Nipple
Author: Cary Smith
Publisher: Shakespeare’s Fool
Pages: 255
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

First Chapter:

Before you read one word (oh, too late) of my story on my sentence served, I must first tell you I’m not a writer, but I’m having a go at this anyways ’cause I’ve read some (not all… some were soo dull that Sparknotes™ were my only option) high-school education books by some so-called writers, and they were some of the worst, lifeless things I’ve ever read, so I figured what the heck.

I’m telling my story to show that I eventually realized that I don’t really believe what I had just said above^ about those so-called writers and that I eventually realized that they were only trying to get through this life, just like the rest of us (they just did it in a rich, elitist, boring way). They were only trying to tell a beautiful story, in a style that appeals to some, and doesn’t appeal to others (mainly everyone). A beautiful human attribute, the story. It’s a wonder how we’re soo good at it.

I realized that I’m just a friggin’ human too, and I was soo tired of thinking I was better than everyone (well, depending on the day. No, I’m just kidding. I think I’m better than you). Of course this took some time. The time thing is something that a lot of people in the country I grew up in just didn’t like. Things had to be soo rushed and quick, and it just didn’t make any sense to me, and it still doesn’t. I figure the whole rushing thing in the country I grew up in is a big reason why there are soo many man/woman children (or I should say bad, sour children, because I don’t want to give a bad name to children) running around in the real world, <whatever the hell that means (Hippie talk, Hippie Dogma).

People, what people would call the literary types (such as The Bard, Sir Brad Cruise), just never seem to have that realization^ in their little Grubstreet communities (nap and sleepytime communities), and that’s why it took me soo long to even start writing my story. I mean, I’m writing, and those people run everything, so I figured I had no chance of people hopefully enjoying my story. Heck, I started now, though, and I feel pretty good about it.

So please continue on, but if you wanna stop now because you’re telling yourself, “Well, he just kinda told us everything,” then that’s understandable. Hey, at least you got to here. And there will be some very long occurrences of ( ) <these, and I apologize for that. I just get soo excited when I use them. My advice would be to just enjoy them (see Intermission #3) and to look at them as a nice break in my childish (what my human computer says, “Is that of an eight-year-old, or third-grade level”) writing. (And that will be the only time I quote my human computer, mainly due to the fact that he/she just doesn’t talk that much unless I force it too.)

Also, I must tell you that much of my story takes place in the inner public-school system, and if you’re expecting a sophisticated, intellectual story, then you’ve opened the wrong book. (No, I’m just kidding of course. I only wrote that for it to be maybe used and taken out of context in the future by private schools as a marketing tool for their schools.)

And, also, also, I don’t know what douchey advertising people have coined my generation yet—Gen. Video Gamers, Gen. Technorati’s, Gen. Damn You People Are Uninteresting—but I think we’re (<insert future lame generation name here instead of the we) pretty annoyed with douchey old people, who were just as much of douches when they were my age saying, “Oh, I just don’t know about the kids today. They’re soo apathetic and lazy.” Stick that up your butt, ’cause we’re fine. We’re all just hoping that our generation and the generations after us have less and less douches that start dumb at a young age and, when they get older, say, “The kids today are just not all right. I just don’t know about them,” and then publish an article about it because it’s their job as the modern heroes of sociology, psychology, and bad journalism. So leave us alone and let me apologize for all you people who say such douche bag things about a generation in its infancy. My apology goes like this: “We’re sorry that you never lived young, or were never young at heart, that you were sadly old, and not even a wise old while in your prime. It’s not our fault that you were a douche at heart at such a young age.” What a sad tragedy you are. (Minus 15 points for starting a sentence with and, and also, also. Not in MLA format, also known as Teaching-YOU-How-To-Be-A-Bad-Writer-Educators-Making-YOU-Proud. Education. <You’ll see this education thing a lot. This just means that I’m trying to embrace this whole format thing and this specific, certain way I’m supposed to write, to write the correct way, but I can’t seem to get around its apparent robotic poop, as my human computer is always trying to control my writing and move it in its own desired format, automatically switching my spelling of “soo” to “so,” which soo really pisses me off sometimes, and then I find myself psychotically screaming, “Goddmannn youuu Microsoft Word™.” The whole thing really reminds me of some squirmy professor who wishes the entire world were like him and wrote like him (see Intermission #3 for example). As if that type of person had designed the software in order to make everyone like him/her (Cary Smith is Feminist™-friendly). But, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for organization (this writing here is pretty organized), but I’m not for it if it makes Cary a dull boy since Cary can’t play because he gets soo annoyed and tired of the red and green scribbly lines underneath his writing that he just stops altogether.

So I’ll be marking down points myself against myself for going against my computer’s desired format and the other formats and styles taught to me to make me a bad and dull writer, or for other reasons, so “education” means minus 15 points, which has nothing to do with you or any of your future grades, so don’t worry. It just means Cary caught himself being a bad boy, caught himself trying not to be such a dull boy. I also will not be writing my entire story using texting speech and grammar, sorry to disappoint you. But if Mark Twain were alive, I’m sure he would be able to do it.) TTYL.

Special guest corrector, Brad Cruise: “Wow, your initial one of these ( ), where you started wayyy up there ^ with “Minus fifteen points” is just ending now? What is wrong with you? And you are supposed to use brackets not parentheses within parentheses, you cuckold. And you cannot put paragraph breaks in parentheses. That just means your parenthetical information is too long. Just give me one chance to offend thee by plucking your beard, you inane fool, then you must draw your sword against me and die.”

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