Fashion is for girly-girls only, right? Not according to one-time Lake Forester, Lizzie Garrett Mettler.
In her first book, Tomboy Style: Beyond the Boundaries of Fashion, Lizzie—the daughter of long-time State Senator Susan Garrett— chronicles the past 80 years of women who blur the line between masculine and feminine. She explores the evolution of style and its icons. And through a personal commentary, Lizzie tells the story of the tomboy’s history and captures a diverse group of women who are bound together by their inherent ability to blend a rugged sensibility with classic, understated elegance.
“This was a project I wanted to take on so badly,” explains Lizzie. “When I was talking with my publisher, she questioned whether or not there was enough material for this kind of book. Of course, I said ‘yes,’ and crossed my fingers that I’d find what I was looking for.”
As Lizzie pored through fashion photo archives, she was amazed at how much support she found to support the tomboy perspective. “This book really could have been twice its size. We had too much to choose from,” Lizzie says, noting that the tomboy influence has been a powerful influence, dating back to the days of Coco Chanel.
“The tomboy influence is certainly one that has ebbed and flowed through the years,” adds Lizzie. “But I think it always has relevance because women find it accessible and down to earth—while still remaining stylish.” Lizzie points to women like Jane Birkin as the epitome of a tomboy. “I think it’s so funny that one of the most coveted, most expensive, most idolized handbags in the world is named after a woman who didn’t share that perspective at all. Jane Birkin carries the handbag named after her, but she carries it until it falls apart. It’s not about fashion for her, it’s about practicality.”
Lizzie is a freelance journalist living in Los Angeles. She has written for Chicago Magazine, Bon Appétit, The Huffington Post, and Interiors. She is contributor to the Los Angeles Times, where she writes features on architecture and design for the paper’s “Home” section.
Lizzie has become somewhat of a tomboy expert. Being one herself, in her spare time, Lizzie blogs about tomboy fashion on tomboystyle.blogspot.com, which recently won The Lucky Magazine FABB award for best blog design. “I was a little nervous about my personal commentary on fashion being part of a coffee table book. This is really a heartfelt account. You just never know how people are going to react,” Lizzie says.
But Lizzie has nothing to worry about, as her inaugural book is receiving rave reviews among the literary critics and readers alike. “There’s definitely room for another book on this subject, but this will be a hard one to follow. I don’t want to write another book just to have one out there. It has to be right,” Lizzie says.
Lake Forest Book Store will host a book signing for Lizzie Garrett Mettler on Saturday, May 5, at 11 a.m. Lake Forest Book Store is located at 680 N. Western Avenue in Lake Forest.
— Ann Marie Scheidler