Earlier this month, Coco-worshipers flocked to the Boston Public Library to celebrate the release of Justine Picardie’s book Chanel, Her Life, turning the library’s richly painted rooms into a sea of LBDs. We were amongst those there to toast Picardie, and after securing our own (and now-cherished) copy of the book, we sat down to chat with the Chanel-clad author. Here, we talk research, inspiration, and everyone’s favorite fragrance – Chanel N°5.
Rue La La: Aside from a love for everything Chanel (which, of course, we share), what inspired you to write this book?
Justine: It was probably seeing my mother’s bottle of Chanel N°5 when I was a little girl. It’s one of my earliest memories and I associate it with learning to read, really.
Rue La La: You spent a lot of time researching Coco and found out things even the most devout Chanel fans (us included) never knew. Tell us something that really shocked you.
Justine: I was amazed that she was so fluent in English and that the two great loves of her life, Boy Capel [Captain Arthur Edward Capel] and the Duke of Westminster [Hugh Grosvenor] were English. We think of Chanel as the absolute quintessential French woman, but she brought in those elements of English style into her designs, which I found interesting.
Continue reading “A Good Read: Chanel, Her Life” »
Art Solomon owns two Minor League Teams, the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats (an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) and the A Bowling Green Hot Rods (an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). We turned to him to get his expert insight into the biggest series of the season.
1. Every World Series is exciting because there’s an opportunity to see some of the best players in the world compete on our national pastime’s largest stage. This year is particularly interesting because there are two-low budget teams who are seldom even in the playoffs competing to get into the World Series – the Milwaukee Brewers and the Detroit Tigers.
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Ah, fall. The days are getting colder, the nights are getting longer and, if you’re anything like me, you suddenly have the overwhelming desire to curl up with a good book and a cuppa (tea, that is), fireplace optional.
Style-loving bibliophiles are in luck this season, what with all the many fashion and art books hitting the shelves between now and the end of the year. Fans of classic couture are sure to love Assouline’s three-volume sets dedicated to Dior and Chanel which chronicles the history and defining spirit of both storied houses (Assouline is publishing American Dior as well, showcasing the French couturier’s impact on the way American woman dressed).
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We’re taking it back. Way back (some farther than others) to when our Starbucks lattes were sippy cups of milk, and story time was as hyped as happy hour. In honor of these diaper days, we took to the twittersphere and poked around the office to find out what our Members and colleagues were reading back when they were just little Rue-bies – and we’d love to hear your faves, too.
Rachel S., Copy Director
“I love Different Like Coco – it’s the story of Coco Chanel, with great illustrations, and an amazing lesson about being your own person, having confidence, and overcoming tough circumstances.”
Cheryl K., EVP Chief Member Advocate
“As a little girl, I loved the Madeline book.”
Graham K., Art Director
“My favorite book was Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood. It was all about individuality and feeling good about oneself. It follows a little boy (that I always thought was me) alongside a bunch of animals. My mom would read each page and act out the animals. She’d bellow: ‘I’m as large as a whale’ and in a high, squeaky voice she’d shout: ‘I’m as small as an ant.’ It always made me laugh.”
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We love packing our beach bags with cheap novels, stacks of magazines, and the literary gems we’ve been meaning to finish. We checked in with some of our favorite designers, bloggers, and style authorities to see what they’ll be toting to the shore this summer to get some inspiration for passing along. Our personal reading recommendation:
1. Pick your own favorite summer reads (or take a suggestion from below!).
2. Print out bookmarks for all your friends.
3. Tuck a bookmark into every beach read you pass along this summer.
Who: Ben Busko, of Ben’s Garden
What: The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Rainmaking Conversations by Mike Schultz, and House Beautiful and Martha Stewart magazines
Why: “My summer reading plans will be sure to include late afternoons by the oceanside, hopefully sipping mojitos, and listening to the whisper of the ocean as I dive into my latest favorites. To keep on point at work my Ben’s Garden employee book club is reading, chapter by chapter, Rainmaking Conversations; I enjoy discussing points of interest with everyone every Monday. Somewhere in my beach bag, and before the sun sets I would also be sure to get to my essential magazine reads.”
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THE MUST-HAVE HOMEWARE BRAND’S PRESIDENT AND NAMESAKE ON HER PERSONAL STYLE
We’re in love with Rosanna’s whimsical, upbeat, and perfectly modern pieces. Here, we sit down with Rosanna herself for an insider take on home and entertainment style.
Rue La La: We are just dipping into the world of mixing prints in fashion. What are some rules of thumb for print-mixing at home?
Rosanna: There are no rules anymore. You can make anything your own. Be creative, do what you like, mix old and new. The La Vie Boho is a mixed pattern – it’s a combination of six different periods of design, and they each complement the next.
Rue La La: What’s a home trend right now that makes you say “It’s about time”?
Rosanna: I’m glad to find that many families are again eating together at the table. We need to focus on our home and remember it as the center of everything good. Families should unplug from their email, computers, and electronic devices and focus on each other.
Continue reading “Five-Minute Pow-Wow: Rosanna Talks Home, Style, and Entertaining” »
AN INTERVIEW WITH WES DEL VAL, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER AT POWERHOUSE BOOKS
Originally published in 1965 in Japanese, Take Ivy is very much about outsiders looking in, imbuing Ivy League campuses – and the style found there – with exuberant romanticism. While the wide-open spaces of the campuses were likely liberating to wide-eyed photographers accustomed to the Tokyo grind, it was really the confidence of the men on campuses that captured Japan’s eye. Once the photographs were published, Ivy League style took off in Japan, in part due to the book, which saw a re-issue this year with a long-awaited English translation. Coinciding with the current prep revival, it’s on the shelves of stylish stores, ready for a new generation to pick up and become enthralled. We were privileged to sit down with Wes Del Val, associate publisher at powerHouse Books, to probe deeper into the wonder surrounding this period in style history.
Rue La La: There seems to be a fascination both with the fashion of these American students - madras pants, collegiate sweaters, yellow rain slickers, etc. - and also with their activities. How are the two intertwined?
Wes: I think it depends on the activities and whether or not girls were nearby. As with many young men for many years on college campuses, if it’s just guys partaking in something physical, style is amongst the last things on their mind. If girls might see them or there is a chance to impress them, style, in all its varied forms, has suddenly gained in importance.
Continue reading “A Good Read: Take Ivy’s Take on Ivy League Prep” »