I was first drawn to this book because of its stylish design, but stayed due to its fascinating subject. Picardie follows Coco Chanel’s memories down the rabbit hole, comparing the overlapping links in her life to her brand’s distinctive symbol. Though Coco’s conversations were steeped in nostalgia, her actions were forever pushing forward. Chanel saw good fashion as the philosophy for life: ever changing and yet recognizable. Picardie populates her book with photographs and sketches from Chanel’s life that will draw you further into the dark wonderland that was Coco Chanel’s life.
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062074171
Availability: Backordered
Published: It Books - August 23rd, 2011

Michelle Obama had style before she became First Lady, but now everyone can read about her fashion choices in media from Ankara to Zaire. She has spawned her own fashion-book industry. In Michelle Style: Celebrating the First Lady of Fashion (William Morrow, $19.99), Michelle Norwood explores the designers, the clothes, and accessories that make for the First Lady’s signature look. Susan Swimmer’s Michelle Obama: First Lady of Fashion and Style (Black Dog & Leventhal, $9.95) begins with a look at previous First Ladies and then discusses what sets Michelle Obama apart. She is, after all, the first First Lady whose style has been on a par with Jacqueline Kennedy’s. Finally, there’s Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy (Center Street, $25.99) by Mary Tomer. This book goes into more detail about what makes the Michelle Obama style. Tomer talks with designers about what they see as important in Mrs. Obama’s fashion sense. The book also looks at the development of her style over time. Some of the money raised from the sale of Mrs. O goes to Dress for Success, a program that provides professional attire for women who are trying to rebuild their lives after abusive relationships or homelessness. There are lots of lovely pictures in all three books, and for fashionistas, some new ways to be stylish naturally.

Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781599952581
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Center Street - October 1st, 2009

Michelle Style: Celebrating the First Lady of Fashion Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061836916
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: William Morrow - May 5th, 2009

Edward Steichen was one of the 20th century’s masters of photography. His career spanned six decades. For a little more than a decade, his work appeared in two of the most important American magazines, Vogue and Vanity Fair. Then as now, they were purveyors of culture, taste, and style. Anyone exploring Edward Steichen: In High Fashion: The Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937 (W.W. Norton, $75), edited by William A. Ewing and Todd Brandow, will notice that along with the period’s supermodels, there are photos of the stars of the time, including Norma Shearer, W.C. Fields, and an unrecognizable young Ginger Rogers. You’ll also find wonderful portraits of William Butler Yeats, Jack Dempsey, and Ernst Lubitsch, as well as Steichen’s memorable photographs of Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, and Gary Cooper.

Edward Steichen: In High Fashion: The Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393066777
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 17th, 2008