This week, we share with you five incredible memoirs and biographies of notable fashion women whom we admire. There are many lessons to be gleaned from the way they lived their lives, both in and beyond the world of fashion.


 Grace: A Memoir
 by Grace Coddington

81OL3x5b6hLBeautiful. Willful. Charming. Blunt. Grace Coddington’s extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her work as creative director of Vogue have made her an international icon. Known through much of her career only to those behind the scenes, she might have remained fashion’s best-kept secret were it not for The September Issue, the acclaimed 2009 documentary that turned publicity-averse Grace into a sudden, reluctant celebrity. Grace’s palpable engagement with her work brought a rare insight into the passion that produces many of the magazine’s most memorable shoots.

With the witty, forthright voice that has endeared her to her colleagues and peers for more than forty years, Grace now creatively directs the reader through the storied narrative of her life so far. (Excerpted from the publisher.)

 

 

 

D.V.
By Diana Vreeland

fashion-memoirs2D.V. is the mesmerizing autobiography of one of the 20th century’s greatest fashion icons, Diana Vreeland, the one-time fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue, whose incomparable style-sense, genius, and flair helped define the world of haute couture for fifty years. The incomparable D.V. proves herself a brilliant raconteur as she carries the reader along on her whirlwind life—from English palaces to the nightclubs of Paris in the 1930s to the heart of New York high society, hobnobbing with everyone who was anyone, from Queen Mary to Clark Gable to Coco Chanel. (Excerpted from the publisher.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane: A Signature Life
By Diane Von Furstenberg

books.fashionDiane is the frank and compelling story of an extraordinary woman and her adventures in fashion, business, and life. “Most fairy tales end with the girl marrying the prince. That’s where mine began,” says Diane Von Furstenberg. She didn’t have to work, but she did. She lived the American Dream before she was thirty, building a multimillion-dollar fashion empire while raising two children and living life in the fast lane. Von Furstenberg’s wrap dress, a cultural phenomenon in the seventies, hangs in the Smithsonian Institution. “Now, Diane works to make sense of the contradictions in her life: glamour vs. hard work, European vs. American, daughter of a Holocaust survivor vs. wife of an Austro-Italian prince, mother vs. entrepreneur, lover vs. tycoon. She emerges wiser, stronger, and ever more determined never to sacrifice her passion for life. (Excerpted from the publisher.)

 

 

 

 

 

Chanel and Her World
By Edmonde Charles-Roux

ChanelGabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883–1971) is a fashion icon unlike any other. She invented modern clothing for women: at the height of the Belle Époque, she stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair, put them in bathing suits, and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced slacks, costume jewelry, and the exquisitely comfortable suit. She made the first couture perfume—No. 5—which remains the most popular scent ever created. In this beautiful volume, the glorious life of the incomparable Coco Chanel shines again through hundreds of illustrations and the lively prose of Edmonde Charles-Roux, her official biographer and close friend. Chanel knew and collaborated with the likes of Picasso, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Jean Renoir, and Visconti—even as she matched their modernist innovations by liberating women from the prison of 19th-century fashion and introducing a whole new concept of elegance. The staggering collection of photographs amassed by the author over decades of friendship with Chanel sheds new light on one of the great stories of the modern age. (Excerpted from the publisher.)

 

 

Carolina Herrrera
By Alexandra Kotur and Hamish Bowles

carolina-herrera-portrait-fashion-icon-alexandra-kotur-hardcover-cover-artWeaving together elegance, delicacy, and femininity, Carolina Herrera has defined a graceful aesthetic that is all her own. Born into an aristocratic family, Herrera’s fashion sensibilities were awakened when she attended her first fashion show, at age thirteen. Since her emergence as a renowned beauty surrounded by royals and artists, Carolina Herrera has established herself as the woman who dresses women who know how to dress. Told through the lens of celebrated photographers and the words of friends, colleagues, and admirers, this is the story of one of today’s most timeless designers and most remarkable women. (Excerpted from the publisher.)

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