Monday, March 30, 2009

Kids Books: When Royals Wore Ruffles

When Royals Wore Ruffles: A Funny and Fashionable Alphabet! -- In this Hilarious, oh-so-fascinating trip through fashion history, a little girl goes back in time and meets a cast of characters wearing the latest trends. In B, we see Bustles, in H there’s sky-high hats (and hair!) and, in S, well, you won’t believe the shoes. And when the girl finishes her sylish trip—with Y for You and Your own Zany style—she puts on a fashion show for the people she’s met.

From fashionistas Chesley McLaren and Pamela Jaber comes an informative look at outrageous styles and how they came to be. With tidbits, anecdotes, and laugh-out-loud styles, this is the perfect picture book for fashion lovers everywhere.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Matthew Higgs: Never Look Back / Pressed / Fifteeen People Present Their Favorite Book

Matthew Higgs is an artist, a curator, a writer, a publisher and one of the truly vital forces shaping contemporary art. This an exhibition in three parts, with sections entitled Never Look Back; Pressed; and Fifteen People Present Their Favorite Book [After Kosuth], which demonstrates the variety of his creative work. Never Look Back is an exhibition of new work; it consists of framed book pages and photographs of books that are framed and hung on gallery walls. Pressed is an exhibition of letterpress prints by Peter Doig, Kay Rosen, Dave Muller, Rirkrit Tiravanija and others all published by White Columns, an alternative exhibition space in New York City where Higgs has been director and head curator since 2004.The central orienting point for the show is an installation of books entitled Fifteen People Present Their Favorite Book [After Kosuth]. This is a remake of a little known work by Joseph Kosuth from 1967 in which Kosuth took books chosen by Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Sol Lewitt and others and presented them as an installation in the Lannis Gallery. You can read more here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Salvatore Ferragamo - Evolving Legend 1928-2008

Salvatore Ferragamo - Evolving Legend 1928-2008 -- The company Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A., founded in 1927 by designer Salvatore Ferragamo, is a luxury brand with more than 450 stores in over 55 countries. It sells footwear, handbags and small leather goods, scarves and ties, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, bijoux, watches, fragrances and eyewear. Salvatore Ferragamo made the name famous in California, first in Santa Barbara and then in Hollywood, creating footwear for the most beautiful women in the world—the "divas" of emerging American cinema. This book is also the catalogue of an exhibition that took place at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (29 March–7 May 2008) to celebrate the eighty-year anniversary of the company. Photographs, sketches, and drawings explore design processes and showcase shoes, handbags, and accessories—a magnificent selection of fashion works embodying social and cultural changes over time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jen Lancaster: Pretty in Plaid

In Pretty in Plaid(to be released May 5th - pre-order now!), Jen Lancaster reveals how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be.

Think Jen Lancaster was always “like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?” Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn’t know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life—and wardrobe—before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.

The author who showed us what it was like to wait in line at the unemployment office with a Prada bag, how living in the city can actually suck, and that losing weight can be fun with a trainer named Barbie and enough Ambien is ready to take you on a hilarious and heartwarming trip down memory lane in her shoes (and very pretty ones at that).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cheever: A Life

I am a HUGE fan of Cheever and his children as well! I can't wait to read Cheever: A Life -- here is the review from Publishers Weekly -- Rebellious Yankee son of a father who fell victim to the Depression and a doo-gooder-turned-businesswoman mother, father to three competitive children he rode mercilessly but adored, chronicler par excellence of the 1950s American suburban scene while deploring all forms of conformity: John Cheever (1912–1982) was a mass of contradictions. In this overlong but always entertaining biography, composed with a novelist's eye, Bailey, biographer of Richard Yates and editor of two volumes of Cheever's work for Library of America (also due in March), was given access to unpublished portions of Cheever's famous journals and to family members and friends. Bailey's book is fine in descriptions of Cheever's reactions to other writers, such as his adored Bellow and detested Salinger. Bailey is also sensitive in describing the prickly dynamic of Cheever's domestic life, lived through a haze of alcoholism and under the shadow of extramarital heterosexual and homosexual relationships. This Ovid in Ossining, who published 121 stories in the New Yorker as well as several bestselling novels, has probably yet to find a definitive position in American letters among academicians. This thoroughly researched and heartfelt biography may help redress that situation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forthcoming Biographies on Isabella Blow

Two biographies of Isabella Blow are in the works, and they’re taking very different views of the talented and troubled fashion stylist, who committed suicide in 2007. Lauren Goldstein Crowe, co-author of the upcoming “The Towering World of Jimmy Choo” (Bloomsbury, 2009), is penning a book that will focus on “the industry side of things, Isabella’s role as muse and her life — and career — in the greater context of luxury goods,” according to the author. Crowe believes Isabella may have been the last of a dying breed. “There are fewer and fewer roles in fashion for a purely creative persona,” she said. Her book will be published by St. Martin’s Press in December 2010.

Blow’s widower, Detmar Blow, and Tom Sykes, author of “What Did I Do Last Night?” (Ebury Press, 2007), are collaborating on a more personal account of Isabella’s life, according to Sykes, who met the subject through his sister, Plum Sykes, in the mid-Nineties. Their proposal is hitting publishers’ desks this week. Sykes said the book will draw on Detmar’s numerous diaries during the couple’s two decades together, and will also delve into Isabella’s colorful ancestry, unhappy childhood and experiences in America. Sykes said the challenge will be to “broaden the story and make it clear the book is not just for fashion people,” he said. “It’s really a love story: Romeo and Juliet meets Gormenghast in a Philip Treacy hat,” he said, referring to the British Gothic fantasy books from the Fifties.

So far, the rival authors are taking a gracious line toward each other. “There’s definitely room for two books,” said Crowe. “Mine will be a more detached, academic biography.” Sykes says his and Detmar’s book will be “the definitive biography of a British fashion icon,” but concedes an “outsider” is capable of telling Isabella’s story, too. “The fact that two books are being written just shows Isabella’s story is an amazing one,” he said. — Samantha Conti and Miles Socha (

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

From Publishers Weekly: Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories -- The stories in this outstanding debut collection explore the troubled relationships of men down on their luck, in failed marriages, estranged from family, caught in imbroglios between sons and their fathers and stepfathers, and even, in Wild America, the subtle and ferocious competition between teenage girls. Bob Monroe, the protagonist of The Brown Coast, loses his job, his inheritance and his wife after the death of his father. The narrator of Down Through the Valley, meanwhile, is persuaded to drive his ex-wife's boyfriend home from an ashram after he injures himself. In Leopard, the threat of a missing pet leopard lurking in the woods hints at a troubled 11-year-old's rage toward his stepfather. The narrator of Down Through the Valley has a savage freak-out that terrifies him. The strange and magnificent title story, in which Vikings set off again toward an oft-raided island, beautifully ties the collection together in its heartbreaking final paragraph. Tower's uncommon mastery of tone and wide-ranging sympathy creates a fine tension between wry humor and the primal rage that seethes just below the surface of each of his characters.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Six Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak

Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure - Love wounds the heart and soul . . . From the editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning comes another collection of terse true tales—this time simple sagas exploring the complexities of the human heart. Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak contains hundreds of personal stories about the pinnacles and pitfalls of romance. Brilliant in their brevity, these insightful slivers of passion, pain, and connection capture every shade of love and loss—six words at a time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

L.A. Candy

From People online:

The star of The Hills reveals on her MySpace blog that her new book, L.A. Candy which is "loosely inspired" by her own experience – follows the story of 19-year-old girl named Jane Roberts "who moves to L.A. and unexpectedly becomes the star of a reality television show." In the book Jane's best friend is named Scarlett.

The novel, the first in a three-book series being published for young adults by HarperCollins, will be released June 16.

"Some of the characters may symbolize people in my life," writes Conrad, who has gone through a multitude of drama on the MTV series, "but it is in no way calling anyone out."

Adds the star, "I've always loved books that I could lose myself in, ones that would transport me to another place, but had characters I could relate to. So, I'm so excited to have this opportunity to write books like that for other readers."

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Agency

The Agency -- Tess Drake is in trouble - she just doesn't know it yet. As an agent in a multinational media agency, Tess deals with some of the worlds biggest egos. And that's just those inside her firm. After the mysterious death of a senior partner, Tess's sworn enemy, Cosima Tate, has taken over the firm and would do anything to thwart Tess's career. Tess wants to start her own agency and take her biggest client with her, but can she jump ship and risk losing her reputation? Are her balls made of steel, or are they about to be crushed under Cosima's stilettoed heel?