New books from August

Jenny with Paolo Gucci

Gucci Wars: How I Survived Murder and Intrigue at the Heart of the World’s Biggest Fashion House
by Jenny Gucci
Publication Date: August 1, 2008

As the Sunday Herald describes it, the book “oozes sensationalism.” While the book has the potential to provide insights into the Gucci world, it apparently focuses on blood, violence and betrayal. One might have a glimmer of hope that the book would be of use to historians interested in an inside account, the Sunday Herald suggests that the author may have missed some things.

“Jenny Gucci brings to the tale an outsider’s view of the inner wranglings and feudings of the family. Not only did she come from outside the Gucci world, but, as a bookmaker’s daughter from Mill Hill in London and a former dental nurse, she was also from outside that Italian, patriarchal culture. Her incomprehension at the intrigue and machinations going on around her runs through the book.”

That said, one might still get a general sense of some of the inner workings – though its clearly not an academic endeavor, but might be useful if taken with a grain of salt.

Ribbon: The Art of Adornment

by Nicholas Kniel, Timothy Wright, and Parker Smith
Publication Date: August 21, 2008

Written by a designer of ribbon, Nicholas Kniel, collector Timothy Wright and photography by Parker Smith, this book appears to be of the coffee-table variety.

The Places and Spaces of Fashion, 1800-2007

by John Potvin
Publication Date: Aug 22, 2008

One can certainly judge a book by its cover in this instance – the all type on solid blue background leads me to believe that this is truly an academic text directly related to the study of visual culture. Offering fifteen chapters/essays on visual and material culture as they relate to fashion, I would say it has the potential to become required reading for students in the Visual Culture: Costume Studies program at New York University (though, given the $95 price tag, I suspect that parts of it will be incorporated into reading packets or checked out at the library rather than purchasing individual copies). Check out the table of contents here.

Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962

by Douglas Kirkland
Publication Date: August 25, 2008

Planned for release at the end of August, this book is apparently running late. I would guess that it was timed to come out at the same time as the new lifetime movie Monica mentioned a few posts ago. These personal photos were taken by Douglas Kirkland in 1962 of Chanel and her friends and have never before been published. Since this early work, Kirkland has worked for Look and Life magazines and is known for his photographs of iconic celebrities. For a quick peak at some of the interior, visit the publishers website here.

Until next time,

Heather

www.fashionhistorian.net

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