As a fashion journalist, reading and fashion pretty much go hand in hand at the top of my list of loves in life. Under the umbrella of this comes the obvious sub-categories – art, photography, visual fashion and on and on. Fashion books (when done right) combine the best of these to create insightful and useful tomes from which we can take advice, wisdom, learn about culture and art… And sometimes, like in the case of Leandra Medine’s book, they can just be really fucking hilarious.
Seeking Love, Finding Overalls by Medine, the creator of Man Repeller, is not yet an autobiography, nor a self help book, and can’t completely be classified as such a ‘fashion book’. So what is it? A collection of essays – life stories, stories of her life, stories about things that have happened in her life, and her life, told through stories. At the age of only 24 when the book was published, it’s surprising that Leandra managed to fit so much heartache, life experience and laughter into 288 pages. And when it was finished, I was left craving more.
A Google search for Leandra Medine lists her primary occupation as an author. Unlike a lot of fashion bloggers this is true, because Leandra is not only a published author, but trained and educated in journalism. It comes across so clearly in her vocabulary and the flow of her sentences, fairly rare for someone not just of her age, but of her chosen occupation. For those seeking the story of how Man Repeller came to be, you will find it in here, but what you’ll also find is a LOT of overalls. Like, seriously a lot. If overalls are not just physically clothes, but a metaphor for the myriad of obstacles in her path (whether it be relationship mishaps or a Jewish school hell bent on leading her onto a different path) then by the end of the book, you’ll be wading through them.
What comes across most is not that Medine has a totally inability to take herself seriously, because at many times she does exactly that. It’s how she truthful she is in her self representation, flawed and genuine, and utterly mad. As Simon Doonan of Barneys New York said on the cover of the book itself, “Leandra is doomed to be stylish and groovy and hilarious for the rest of her life”.
– Thomas Marrington