Thursday, December 16, 2010

Read All About It! Fab-u-lous! Really!

If you haven't met, the Dorky Medievalist who is responsible for the brilliant (and in this case I mean "brilliant" both literally and figuratively, because she is an intellectual) blog, In Professorial Fashion, the time has come. Being just plan dorky with no qualifiers, the first time I saw the title of her blog I thought it said "professional fashion." No matter. She is hilarious and works with two other, I can only assume, equally bright individuals -- A-Dubs and E-Jo (don't ask I have no idea) -- because they are definitely amusing  

I don't know about you, but maybe it's because I've lived in France for so many years. I cannot recall meeting someone with an intimidating mind accompanied by a sense of humor. (Oh yes, there is one exception, Jean d'Ormesson. He has a deprecating humor and a seductive twinkle in his bright, blue eyes.) 

D.M. was in the middle of -- are you ready for this? -- correcting Chaucer term papers while she was writing this post. (Chaucer was one of the reasons I wondered why I majored in English literature. I mean, really, if the man was speaking English, why did he have to be translated for heaven's sake!)

'Tis the season to be thinking about giving something fashionable to our stylish friends, so why not a book on the subject? Now we're talking major fashion investment. I think you will be enchanted by her chic choices.

In her own words. . .

Dear readers, let’s talk reading.  The elegant, swellegant Tish asked me to post about my favourite fashion books, those books that we who live for fashion would kill to have in our libraries, and of course I giddily agreed.  And then I realised that my library—and it is an extensive one—is sadly lacking in fashion books and I began to fear for my style blogger cred (I have that, right?).  Oh StyleNation, what is a savvy, fashionable, literate woman to do? 

She makes a list.

This is a list of what is missing from my library, and maybe from yours. 

These are fashion books I have owned but no longer do; fashion books I have given as gifts but wish I had kept for myself; and fashion books that I would love to own but do not. 

And if this list happens to fall into the hands of someone elfin and generous, then so be it.  I have been a very good girl.  Very, very good. 

Ann Likes Red by Dorothy Z. Seymour (Purple House Press)

This was the first book I could read all by myself.  It was a gift from my grandmother—who was never without a hat andgloves—and it was about shopping.  The only word that I didn’t understand in it was “tan.” 

Now I love to shop and I always wear SPF 30.  Clearly this is an influential and important book.

The Dress Doctor by Edith Head (Little, Brown & Co.)

I can’t believe that Edith Head never dressed me.  I was never a film star, but, really, she missed an opportunity.  This book is wonderful and not just because s

he solves the dilemma ofwhat to wear to go bowling. I don’t know about you but I am always at a loss, sartorially and otherwise, when I am asked to go bowling.

Warning: this is only available used.  There is a drastically expurgated version called The

Dress Doctor: Prescriptions for Style from A to Z, but give that poor cousin amiss and go for the real thing.  You won’t be sorry.

Erte Fashion Paper Dolls of the Twenties by Erte (Dover)

Because who doesn’t love Art Deco and paper dolls?


Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way by Winona Dimeo-Ediger (Sasquatch)

The hysterically funny blogger behind Daddy Likey wrote a hysterically funny and practical guide for those of us who are unafraid of fashion, despite its potential for humiliation.  Ever wondered how to look good while jogging? 

I admit nothing, but I read this book.


Fashioning Film Stars: Dress, Culture, Identity by Rachel Moseley (Palgrave)

Fashion is significant.  We, the well-shod and well-versed, already know this but in case your humourless Marxist colleague looks down his nose at your knee-high, lace-up boots, this kick-ass study of fashion, identity politics and celebrity will make that guy take you seriously.  If that doesn’t work, take names.

Emilio Pucci by Vanessa Friedman (Taschen)

This is bound in a Pucci print fabric.  Pop art perfection.

I love Taschen books.  I love that they are often all the same size and I love their exquisite layout and sumptuous pictures.  When I lived in London I would pop into the Taschen shop in Covent Garden and fantasy shop.  I am a lover of eye candy and a lover of books and Taschen is both.  Perfect for the well-ordered bookshelf and the bathtub.

Here’s what would be truly fashionable: an endless array of Tashen 25 editions stacked on a white Sapien bookshelf in a white tiled bathroom, beside an enormous stand-alone copper tub.  Plus a nubile youth to refill the champagne and to fetch you another book.  And whatever else you need.

Did I mention I was good?

Thanks for inviting me to the party.  I had a wonderful time.  Happy reading, revelers!


Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

WONDERFUL! humour, great writing, of course and a lot of books I REALLY want.Bravo to both of you. et merci.

materfamilias said...

What a treat! Except that now my Santa list is much longer than it was when I began reading this post. . .

knitpurl said...

Delightful! I want Erte in particular, the others would be good too. Yes, my Santa list also grew today. xoxo C.

sharon said...

Thank you Tish for inviting such a clever lady along today! I am of to check her out immediately. Totally with her on Taschen books - isn't it wonderful that some publishing houses are just known for doing 'beautiful'

Deja Pseu said...

(clapping) Oh yes! What a wonderful selection of books. I want every one of them!! (Edith Head at the top of the list.)

Lily Lemontree said...

Great post and what super book suggestions, I am adding them to my already overextended Christmas list as I type!

And I must agree on the Edith Head book, if one can locate the original, even better!
Tish my dear, hope you are having a splendid week!

Now on my way to check out this fab new blog!!

BigLittleWolf said...

Chaucer? CHAUCER???

Mon Dieu.

I will admit to re-reading some Marguerite Duras recently. Utterly delicious.

Wonderful as always to see some book picks! (Though my Santa wish list is quite petite, non unlike myself. Good results for my son, in these last days of final exams - and an Air France ticket for me - Paris or Nice would do nicely.)


BODECI body said...

Great Post, Tish!
I must have the Erté paperdolls!

Tabitha said...

Fab selection, yes the Erte is such a beautiful tome.

News from Suz said...

Great suggestions! I love your comments about "The Dress Doctor" I do a play about Edith Head. Do check out the website A CONVERSATION WITH EDITH HEAD
I will definitely stay in touch with you! Best, Suz

Carla said...

Hi Tish thanks for the lovely list and loads of inspiration. I love Taschen too. Carla

LPC said...

I WANT that Pucci book!

a Broad said...

LOL, lovely, a much enjoyed read and laugh !

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

What a fantastic list. Any of these I don't have I shall be adding to my ever growing wish list. I buy a stack from Amazon every month. I'm on first name terms with their delivery man, Bob! Have a great evening xx

Dorky Medievalist said...

Thanks all, and especially to Tish for the kind invitation. This was the most fun I've had all week. Looking forward to visiting your blogs as well. Stay stylish, darlings!

K.Bean said...

I'll take the Taschen collection, with noted accessories. I also really want to see what Edith Head would dress you in!

Miss Cavendish said...

Ahh, perhaps I can convince you to give Chaucer another go in the Middle English. Balenciaga's white headdress a couple of seasons ago had nothing on his Prioresse's wimple!

Charlotte said...

Great to see you here, Ms. Dorky. And yes, Mrs. Dalloway should be on the list.

The Other Kristen said...

My head is in a whirl -- I had forgotten all about Ann Likes Red until this post, and it was one of my most favorite early books. I'm sure that mine is long gone, but I am now on the prowl for a replacement. Thank you.

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