Recommended Reading for the Fashion Minded

DIANE: A SIGNATURE LIFE

  By Diane Von Furstenberg  

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Being one of the most successful "American" designers in history is no small feat, and through her auto-biography Diane spares no detail in telling her story. From her childhood in Germany, her brief affair with a young woman while attending boarding school in England, to marrying a handsome prince and becoming the talk of the town, launching her business out of a suitcase, losing that business, and her personal turmoil in relationships and health. I bet you never knew she had a fling with Richard Gere! 

"My business was skyrocketing. I loved playing the tycooness and I strode through airports wearing fishnet stockings and impossibly high heels with my dresses in a shoulder bag.  I was very pleased that I could live a man's life and still be a sexy young woman. I smiled at my shadow." 

Diane 's honesty is astounding, it is truly a tell-all book. She isn't afraid of expressing how she was feeling as a working mother in the 70's, or why she chose to move to far away lands to live with her lovers, and takes us through the rise, the fall, and the re-birth of her company. 

An inspiring read for any young fashion entrepreneur.  

IF YOU HAVE TO CRY GO OUTSIDE

By Kelly Cutrone

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Kelly Cutrone is a tough bitch, we all know this from her often tear-inducing presence on TV. In her first book, she elaborates on why. You have to have a thick skin to make it in the fashion business in New York, and from the minute Kelly left home in Upstate New York for the mean streets of New York in the 80's she grew one. She thrived in the "Party Monster" scene that was happening at the time, surrounding herself with musicians, punks, fashion designers, PR bitches, and artists; like her ex-husband Ronnie Cutrone (once a regular at Warhol's Factory).

Cutrone's message goes beyond 'how to make it in fashion', to a deeper level regarding awakening one's inner spirit and following your intuition. Upon first glance, one might not think of Kelly as an enlightened being, but she tells us about her life-altering spiritual experience and how she allows spirit to guide her in her career and personal life. 

"I'm not here to tell you how to get the perfect Margiela wardrobe or the perfect man or the perfect job in fashion. I've had all these things (though not all at once), and trust me, there's a bigger prize to be had. I want to help you awaken to your inner voice- the choice of your soul- and I want you to use it to chase your destiny, which I define as the greatest possible outcome for your life." 

If you think it sounds too preachy- don't get me wrong, Kelly doesn't leave any of the good stuff out- the raves, the drugs, the fashion shows, the love affairs- the DRAMA, but her surprisingly spiritual point of view is as eye opening, and empowering as she hoped it would be. 

BORN TO BE BRAD

By Brad Goreski

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How cute is Brad? We all know him by his signature bow tie and glasses, jaunting around LA in his Thom Browne "shrunken baby suits" when he assisted Rachel Zoe, and for a fired (and black listed) ex assistant, Brad's done quite well for himself. I've had the pleasure of meeting Brad on several occasions, and I can tell you first hand that he is that handsome and funny, and I mean laugh-out-loud funny. 

"Which is just one of the many ways the fashion world is like Showgirls. Like the poster says, "Leave you inhibitions at the door."" 

Brad takes us through his chubby childhood in Canada, and just when you think it's all Barbie Dolls and Madonna gloves, he takes us through his drug addled late teens. Once sober, he found a job at Vogue, romance with even funnier partner Gary, and his infamous position as Rachel Zoe's right hand gay. 

As an experienced assistant myself, I can fully, almost verbatim, relate to the horrific, panic attack-inducing incidences that ensue for starry eyed Brad while working for a top Hollywood stylist.   

"911." I thought it was a joke. But Rachel said: "We need to get an entire fitting together today for an international press tour for Kate Hudson."  

"WHERE ARE THE COATS FOR DEMI!" 

 "Common sense is leaving a kit!" 

 I shudder at the accuracy, and non-exaggeration of hearing statements like these while working with high level stylists. As we all know, Brad graciously moved on from Camp Zoe, to great independent success. Personally, I see a great parallel between Brad's path and my own, and it's encouraging (and maybe a bit dramatic) to know that he made it. 

So if you think you may want a career in fashion, get reading boys and girls...