If you’d rather LISTEN to the book reviews, click below (3 min)
I’ve told you before how much this Audible thing is working for me- I can finally get through books without falling asleep! I don’t know how it’s come to this, as I’ve always been an avid reader- but now? I’m not lying when I say: 2 pages and I’m out; print or kindle. Can you relate, or is it just me?
So the mere notion that I can be anywhere, doing anything as the books are read to me, is magical and it works! My latest ‘reads’ (if you can call them that lol!) have been AMAZING! Let me tell you a bit about what I loved about them.
If you remember, I previously reviewed her book FASHIONOPOLIS: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes and loved it. Well, this one, DELUXE: How Luxury lost its luster is a prelude to Fashionopolis. Just when I think I already know a lot about the fashion world and the culture- No- I really don’t. This book was an eye opener in terms of not only the industry, but also the big brand names. I love how Dana has these interviews with the direct sources all the time. You get to feel for what actually happened and how it all went down. It’s more than just name dropping- this book fills you in on how things actually work in the fashion industry and whose behind the scenes. It’s incredibly informative, with interesting facts and it’s never boring. I was fascinated from the beginning. I’m thinking Dana Thomas is becoming one of my favourite fashion authors.
If you want to learn more about how fashion evolved and what makes the wheels turn, with concrete examples and the most interesting details of brands you may already know and love, then read this!
2. André Leon Talley, THE CHIFFON TRENCHES
This one was recommended to me by Gail of Is This Mutton– and I thank her so much as it did not disappoint! This man is grander than life- I adored reading about his life and humble beginnings. A man raised with values and integrity- Andre is the epitome of extravagance and classiness all in one. Highly educated and extremely well learned and spoken, he makes his way into the fashion world and leaves his mark. I love how he goes through the memoirs of his life and takes us behind the scenes, of not only the fashion world, but also of his family and his own struggles. At one point, Andre was the ultimate say and go -to in fashion. He was also best friend to Karl Lagerfeld and other high rankers in the industry. Even Anna Wintour hung onto his world when it came to getting the right answers and opinion. Only Andre was privvy to Anna’s own dressings and purchases- imagine that! And-He helped make designers (much like what was once known as the Kingmaker- but for the fashion industry)! Yet, along with the mighty heights he achieved, there were some terribly sad parts in this book when it came to his own battles. This made him even more adoring in my eyes. Andre, still kept his love life mostly on the private- no sensationalism or graphics, which I appreciate. I also loved how he embraced his faith throughout and described this as the source of his strength to keep on going- something almost unheard of (especially vocally) in that often decadent world.
If you are looking to get the 411 and all the juiciest details of all that glitters in the fashion celebrity world- get this one and you will be entertained to the max! Plus you get such intimate details about the behind-the-scenes (literally) of many of the big names you’re dying to know about (even the most private ones;) A bigger than life persona, with savvy and great talent operating in the humblest and gentlest of ways. – and always with tact and integrity. I don’t suspect anyone ever stopped to think how much he really did suffer on the inside- that’s the sad part of this fast and furious ‘in the moment’ industry. I love everything about this book!
3. Grace, A Memoir, Grace Coddington
Starting out as a high fashion model, Grace ends up being Creative Director of Vogue, working alongside Anna Wintour…but if you think that’s all there is to Grace- you’ve got something else coming at you! I have to admit that the first part of the book, where she talks a lot about her youth in a small town in England, was a bit straining and felt long. But once she spread her wings and moved to London to make something out of herself, the story flew! What makes the story super interesting is that she was able to live through the most exciting fashion decades ever; starting with the 60’s, where London ruled the fashion world. Grace got to experience the best decades of all; as a model, photographer, stylist and creative director. We all know she worked for Vogue, but she also takes us through her days at Calvin Klein and Harper’s Bazaar and more. I also loved that she knew Anna Wintour and had previously worked with her in England as well.
Speaking of Anna, Grace destroys the notion that Anna is anything like the Devil Wears Prada. On the contrary, both women admire each other and have a great lasting friendship- who knew! As for her life, be prepared to read so many interesting tidbits not only about herself, but of all the amazing creators and designers she worked with as well. The memoir follows her through life, work & love relationships, celebrities, models, travels and her love for cats.
You may have discovered Grace through The September Issue– because before any of that, Grace was and still is, extremely private. So this book was a real treat in to getting to know her more. I also love that she’s one of the greatest stylists ever (I’ve got a penchant for stylists he he!). Truly a fun and interesting read- especially if you want to get into the world of fashion magazines and who really makes those wheels turn!
So that’s my fashion reading binge for the month! Delicious! Stay tuned for what I’m being read to next!
Have you gotten into Audible yet?
OMG- get started already!!
I’m not an audiobook person – I like real books in my hands – but thank you for these awesome recommendations, Lucy! I actually JUST (like, last week!) finished the ALT book – I loved it, and really enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes, and his own experiences as a big Black gay man in the industry. I’d also recommend it, but it helps to have some background fashion knowledge already.
I’ll look for the Thomas book (I read “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline when it came out, a topic I’m interested in). I love Grace! I have the ginormous book “Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue” and it’s incredibly gorgeous.
Have you read, “Women in Clothes”? Link here: https://www.womeninclothes.com/ – it’s kind of a love it or hate it, though!
Ooh, these books sound juicy! Like Sheila, I like to read my books, but on my Kindle. My husband is like you and loves his audiobooks! Either way, these are great recommendations. They would make great coffee table books, too! Thanks for sharing, Lucy!
Thank you for this great list. I’m ordering the books, Audible puts me to sleep too.
You know how they had the Met Gala the other day? I know this sounds like a first-world problem, but the powers-that-be (Anna Wintour?) invited every Kardashian to the gala, but Khloe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not into the Kardashians at all and don’t even know where I read this info. But who does that? Who invites an entire family except one?
One of her sisters stayed home w/ Khloe even though she’d been invited. Just creepy.
I’m reading these books. And I love memoir!!