Style is an undercurrent theme in Nina Cosford’s new book “My Name is Girl.” Cosford’s latest effort is not completely rooted in fashion, but fashion, style and self-image do come into play throughout the book.
Released in the U.S. last week by Chronicle Books, the colorful 128-page graphic novel, written and illustrated by Cosford, is described as “An Illustrated Guide to the Female Mind.”
A few pages are dedicated to “My Outfit for Work,” “My Outfit for a ‘Cool’ Party,” “My Outfit for Travel” and “My Outfit for a Date” — all detailed with amusing and irreverent comments. The “Work” piece refers to a “serious bun,” “bold lip,” “pencil skirt (quite tricky to walk in)” and “non-prescription glasses (They look good, OK?)” among other things. Two pages highlight “How to Tell a Girl By Her Shoes” with a dozen drawings of shoes including “The Lazy Lass” UGG-like boots, “The Lady of the Manor” riding boots and “Spring Breaker” flip-flops. Another two pages focus on “Choosing A Bra” with 16 illustrations of bras with notes like “annoying embellishments” and “WAAAYY TOO GIRLY.”
Cosford’s don’t-hold-back insights about style are not a passing interest. The Hastings and London-based artist explores “what she’s wearing, what she wishes she was wearing, or what she accidentally ends up looking like” with daily drawings that are posted on Instagram. Cosford said they are “just little running commentaries really, with side notes — thoughts jotted down around them.”
The quaint illustrations in this book may look familiar to some readers. In August, the publisher released the illustrated biography “Coco Chanel” on which the artist collaborated with writer Zena Alkayat. That was part of the pair’s Library of Luminaries series, as well as one about Frida Kahlo that was also released this summer. Cosford’s wide-ranging portfolio includes work for Virgin Media, American Eagle Outfitters, Bloomberg Businessweek, Marie Claire and St Ives Beauty.