Fashion Essentials: Chanel, Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3

Garelick, Rhonda. Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History. Random. Oct. 2014. 576p. ISBN 9781400069521. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780679604266. BIOGRAPHY
Drawing on the Chanel archives, extensive interviews, and her own background as an author with a Yale PhD in French and comparative literature who covers fashion, performance, art, and cultural politics, Garelick offers more than a biography of the designer who gave us little black dresses. Garelick aims to show how Coco Chanel absorbed the historical and cultural crosscurrents around her and reflected them in her clothes. Keep your eyes peeled; the publication date may move up.

Lowit, Roxanne. Yves Saint Laurent. Thames & Hudson. Oct. 2014. 208p. ISBN 9780500517604. $50. FASHION
New York–based fashion photographer Lowit, whose work has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, and more, first met Yves Saint Laurent in 1978 and continued photographing his shows until the last one in 2002. Here she offers a 25-year photographic history of Saint Laurent’s secrestcreations with an accent on backstage imagery, which she pioneered. With commentary from Catherine Deneuve, Valerie Steele, and more; a fashionista’s delight.

Secrest, Meryle. Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography. Knopf. Oct. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780307701596. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780385353274. BIOGRAPHY
First, there was the 2012 Prada Schiaparelli show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then the rebirth of the Maison Schiaparelli (after six decades) in January 2014 at 21 Place Vendome in Paris. Now, Secrest, biographer of artistic greats like Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim and winner of a 2006 National Humanities Medal, offers a life of the great Schiaparelli, who dominated mid-20th-century fashion with her daring designs, often created in collaboration with artists like Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau, and Man Ray.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.