Book Haul

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I’m quite pleased with my recent book haul. I had to buy The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly, the Queen’s dresser. It documents the special relationship Angela Kelly has with the Queen. There are some wonderful tidbits to enjoy, lots of history and dress facts. The beautiful pictures are in abundance. I can’t wait to dig in.

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I’ve read Megan Hess before and wrote about it here and here. Her books are gorgeously illustrated. I’m beside myself that I own two more. I feel like a child, so excited that I don’t know where to begin reading them. Elegance is Megan Hess’ newest book and focuses on all the great French designers such as Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Hermes and others. It’s a gorgeous book that I won’t be able to put down.

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I know I’ll enjoy The Dress. It’s an illustrated jaunt through fashion history. The sketches are just beautiful. So far though, my favorite part of the book is the author’s dedication: “For Gwyn, All the dresses I’ve drawn, and all the dresses I own, will one day be yours.” So sweet!

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I did not need to own another journal, but I could not pass this one up. It’s for journaling about the books we read. I probably won’t use it for every book, but it would be fun for those very special books that stay with me long after I’ve turned the last page.

What have you been reading lately? Any new books in your possession?

xoxo, Jane

April, May & June 2019 Wrap-Up

July is almost behind us and I’m only now posting my quarterly wrap-up. I hope you will forgive my tardiness. I was busy reading and writing…

The second quarter of 2019 fun-reading consisted of one short story by George Orwell, one romantic fiction by Meg Cabot (love her!), one classic (Mary Stewart), one royal history book and two illustrated books that I loved so, so much!

(The links below take you to my earlier reviews, except for Orwell’s short story and Inside the Royal Wardrobe.)

The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot.

This was a very sweet read. I think it had a touch of Jane Austen’s Persuasion because the hero and heroine were forced to let go of each other many years earlier.

You and the Atom Bomb by George Orwell. “It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons.” 

This short story was written during a time when everyone was terrified of being obliterated. It’s always interesting to read serious pieces from the actual era they were written in. I also learned that I should read short stories more often. It was an enjoyable (if not sobering), quick read.

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Paris: Through A Fashion Eye by Megan Hess.

I don’t know why I’ve never heard of Megan Hess before. She is a wonderful illustrator and this book is a fun walk through Paree.

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Coco Chanel by Megan Hess.

This was an illustrated novel of Coco Chanel’s life. I really love this book. It is so beautiful and fun. I’ve already picked it up several times to reread. I need another Megan Hess book pronto!

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The Wind off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart.

This novella was so charming and romantic. The only complaint I had was that it ended too abruptly.

Inside the Royal Wardrobe: A Dress History of Queen Alexandra (affiliate link) by Kate Strasdin.

This newish biography is a fascinating study of Queen Alexandra through her wardrobe. She was not who I thought she was, a timid woman who cowered under Queen Victoria. No! She was a strong woman who knew her own mind and tried to live life on her terms. She was a very caring Princess of Wales and became a good queen. This book warrants its own review, coming soon.

xoxo, Jane

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane

 

Paris: Through A Fashion Eye by Megan Hess

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Description:

Paris is an illustrated guide to one of the world’s most-loved fashion cities by one of the world’s most-successful fashion illustrators. In the second of her series of books on classic fashion destinations, Megan Hess takes you on a super stylish adventure through the French capital, showing you the best places for a fashionista to eat, sleep, shop and play – all illustrated in her inimitable, elegant style.

Megan’s tour reveals where fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfield, Chistian Dior and Louis-François Cartier worked and played, the top restaurants, hotels, boutiques and sites to visit, as well as Megan’s own personal favorite places to shop. This is a must-have insider’s guide to Paris for any fashion lover or Francophile.

What I love

I am falling in love with Megan Hess’ work. Paris: Through A Fashion Eye is beautiful and a happy distraction from the worries around me. This book is an illustrated guide of the most fashionable spots in Paris and it has got to be the most beautifully illustrated guidebook on Paris.

I love that the book is organized in a fashionable, yet coherent manner. It’s divided by the following sections: Do/Play, Shop, Sleep, Eat/Drink, Listings. And the best part is the illustrations! They are not a disappointment. They are gorgeous and elegant.

I love that I learned about the history of the hotels, the luxury designers and the most fashionable dining spots. I’m probably never going to be able to walk into Dior (30 avenue Montaigne) and purchase a handbag, but I love that I know the history of Dior’s (and all the other luxury hotspots) building.

Don’t be fooled by this book. It may be cute and uber chic, but it’s loaded with historical tidbits.

I love, love, love mixing fashion with history. If you feel the same, then this illustrated book might be your cup of tea.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

What I don’t love

The only thing I don’t love about this book is that it ended. I could have used about 700 more pages.

If you’ve read this book, please let me know your thoughts!

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This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane

Coco Chanel by Megan Hess

 

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Description:

Fashion is ever-changing, influenced by the key designers that capture a moment in history; and Coco Chanel is arguably the most significant influence on women’s fashion in the twentieth century. Coco Chanel: The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon is a compilation of Megan Hess’ stunning illustrations of the 100 most quintessential moments through Chanel’s history, from Coco’s incredible life, to the impact of Karl Lagerfeld and the incredible items that have become fashion icons – the little black dress, the luxurious bags and accessories, glamorous jewellery and of course the renowned Chanel No 5 perfume.

Interspersed with historical anecdotes and famous quotes from Coco herself, Karl Lagerfeld and other key fashion icons of the era, this book is an elegant and immersive introduction to the moments that shaped Coco and the iconic Chanel brand – and how fashion, in turn, shaped their lives.

When Coco Chanel by Megan Hess arrived in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised at its size. I assumed it would be much smaller, but it’s a perfectly-sized hardback that will look fabulous on my bookshelf or on a coffee table. (Look at the silver-plated pages!!!)

I was also surprised at the book’s substance. Besides the sumptuous illustrations, Coco Chanel has plenty of history, anecdotes and quotes.

The story begins with Coco Chanel’s humble beginnings and takes the reader all the way to the end of her life and to the Karl Lagerfeld era.

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Coco Chanel in 1932.

What I love

The illustrations! I bought this book purely because it’s a gorgeous, illustrated book for adults. I’m so happy I did! I loved reading it while enjoying Megan Hess’ creative drawings of Coco and her world.

I also enjoyed learning about the famous 2.55 Handbag. The book gave a lovely illustrated history of the handbag and explained why Coco Chanel named this particular purse 2.55. {Spoiler alert: Because she created it in February 1955.}

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A black CHANEL Handbag 2.55

What I don’t love

I realize this is more of a fashion book than an actual history book, but I wish that the book didn’t gloss over Chanel’s Nazi past. We learn that Chanel hunkered down at the Ritz during the war (with her Nazi lover) and that after the war she fled to Switzerland. I think the book should have mentioned the unforgivable act she committed during the era of Nazi-occupied Paris.

To make a long story short, Chanel took advantage of atrocious Nazi laws that allowed non-Jewish people to take Jewish-owned businesses away. This is exactly what she did to the Wertheimer family who owned a large stake in her company. She wanted to be the majority stakeholder again so she just took it back. This is unforgivable in my book and should never be glossed over. However, I am happy to report that today the Wertheimer family own and control the House of Chanel.

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Coco Chanel’s suite at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.

If you’d like to own this beautiful book for yourself, please consider purchasing it through the links below. I’ll earn a tiny commission which I will use towards purchasing more books to review or perhaps treating myself to a croissant while I re-read this one again. xoxo, Jane

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This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane