Normally, lookbooks are the run-of-the-mill press materials that you throw into a trusty bin (or, in our case, an unused aluminum beer cooler) and forget about until you need to do a trend report or look up the name of a garment that appeared in an ad.
Spiral bound, velo-bound, perfect bound, matte, natural or glossy, they're all pretty much the same. Which is why this one from Members Only—that brand you wore in the early the 80s, when we were still drooling and incoherent (it wasn't the cocaine honey, we were babies!!)—caught our eye.
It's done up as a scandalous spread from US Weekly or Life & Style or Star (whichever you like best), with the product previewed throughout the shoot and called out in caption boxes.
This approach works for two reasons:
1. It gets the attention of editors and industry types who normally have to sift through a bunch of crap from countless companies. We're not used to seeing this kind of stuff, so at the very least, it gets us to spend an extra few seconds (crucial!) looking through the materials before chucking it into the aforementioned trusty bin.
2. It lays out the looks in a lifestyle manner, practically doing the work (though none will admit so) of the stylist his/herself. Essentially, it gives us an idea of how the clothes would look in real life and suggests some styling options that seem viable.
But that's not to say that there aren't a few drawbacks to this more inventive format, chiefly that it's not necessarily very user friendly. For instance, it's not easy to flip through this for reference. The format requires the editor's eye to jump to all manner of text boxes, which is detrimental for those editors trying to pull together a trend report or merely browse product to see what would be appropriate for an upcoming shoot. With the lookbook, utility cannot be underestimated.
Also, this male model is hideous. I mean, they're not all to our taste, and that's cool, but we're just not feeling this guy (and we LOVE skinny hipster guys). Also, "Poppi" was the best name they could come up with for the girl? Finally, the models appear to have like zero chemistry, which actually makes looking through the spreads all the more interesting, even if it's because we're laughing at the "Make Me a Supermodel" antics.
Still, it's a refreshing take on an industry standard that actually got us to take a look, and, well, write about it. Check out one of the spreads from the book, below. (Click to enlarge)