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Fashion Book: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran

2011 December 22

Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield’s first book, Love is a Mixtape, is one of my favorite nonfiction reads of recent years. It is both an ode to his first wife, Renee, who died at a tragically young age, and to the music that bound them together. I’ve recommended the book to every music fan I know, but I would just as quickly recommend it to anyone who’s ever been in love.

In Talking to Girls about Duran Duran we see Sheffield during his adolescence, growing up worshiping New Wave and MTV in a Boston suburb. Each chapter functions as an essay with a different 80s song as the focus. The essays are funny, heartfelt, and poignant. It’s clear that Sheffield is passionate about music, but the wonderful thing about this book is that there is just enough music geek without coming across as pretentious or creepy. He’s not afraid to admit he loved Debbie Gibson or write an essay about the New Kids on the Block phenomenon. More respectable bands like the Smiths and the Replacements are here too, but the book is at its most fun when waxing poetic about the cassingle, Flock of Seagulls hair, or the thrill of sitting in an ice cream truck in traffic on Rt. 93, rocking out to 80s pop.

Though I spent my critical “coming-of-age” years in the 90s, I remember the 80s fondly, and was even inspired to put together an 80s playlist on Spotify. Sheffield is gifted at reminding us that music is meant to be loved, no matter the format or genre. There is no such thing as a “guilty pleasure.” You love what you love, and that’s okay. So you love Debbie Gibson? Dance to it, belt it out at karaoke, embrace it.

For fun, I put together a look inspired by the bright colors and excess of the 80s–just add hairspray.
Fashion Book--Talking to Girls about Duran Duran


4 Responses Post a comment
  1. December 23, 2011

    And exhale! I love this post because I finally have time to read blogs AND books now! This sounds right up my alley. The fashion, too. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

  2. December 26, 2011

    Love that yellow bag… and I have a secret love for Duran, Duran. 80s music is the best.

  3. January 3, 2012

    “Sheffield is gifted at reminding us that music is meant to be loved, no matter the format or genre.” I loved this line. I obviously need to read BOTH of Sheffield’s books, pronto.

  4. February 9, 2014


    I just stumbled upon your blog and found the great review of Rob Sheffield’s book. Any spotlight on the ’80s, and particularly Duran Duran, is a thrill and I want to extend warm (very belated) kudos on your work. I am a Duran Duran archivist and author of a recently released book, “Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran”— a 260-page coffee table book chronicling the band’s history through rare posters from my archive.

    If my book is of interest, I would be delighted to send you an EPK for a peek inside! It would be a genuine pleasure to have your attention with this milestone, for which Nick Rhodes penned a touching foreword. Duran Duran has called the book “magnificent.”

    But I’m not writing to make a sale. I think it’s always cool to find someone else following their passion and creating greatness. I wish you all the best.

    Sincerely yours,


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