Two books which influenced me years ago, and which have stayed with me ever since, are “The Power of Style” and “The Power of Glamour: The Women Who Defined the Magic of Stardom” by Annette Tapert…
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the covers of either book, but as the saying goes, “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”. And I’m glad I didn’t – I was hooked.
Tapert gives a fascinating introduction into some of history’s most intriguing women and their relationship to style.
I was disappointed that there weren’t more books in the series, but it did send me on a rampant search for related books about some of the women featured, and others that got mentioned along the way – see my list of suggested further reading here.
Scroll through the photos here:
Here are the official blurbs for each book:
“The Power of Style” including Coco Chanel, Pauline de Rothschild, Diana Vreeland, Elsie de Wolfe, Rita Lydig, Babe Paley, Jacqueline Kennedy, Daisy Fellowes, Millicent Rogers, Mona Bismarck, and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor
Reveals the inner qualities of 14 remarkable women who define style in ways that have lasted for generations. Witty and fascinating excursions into the worlds of Coco Chanel, Pauline de Rothschild, Diana Vreeland, Elsie de Wolfe, and others are captured in lavish photographs and entertaining anecdotes. We discover not only the preeminent influence that these women held over fashion and culture, but also the wry, often poignant tales of their personal lives.
“The Power of Glamour: The Women Who Defined the Magic of Stardom” including Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Norma Shearer, Claudette Colbert, Kay Francis, Dolores Del Rio, and Constance Bennett
From Annette Tapert, the co-author of the popular The Power of Style, comes a book that is just as beautiful and entertaining but that redefines an attribute even more intangible. In word and image, it evokes a unique Hollywood era and eleven of its goddesses who lived, and left as their legacy, the Power of Glamour.
When the Glamour Era met the Golden Age of cinema, it cast a spell on a public beaten by the Depression and the threat of war. But the key ingredient in 1930s g
lamour was personality. Annette Tapert’s movie-queen profiles, rich with fresh insights, reach beyond the star-making machinery, fan magazines, fashions, and cosmetics to the essence of each women: the carefully molded image of Gloria Swanson, who started it all . . . Marlene Dietrich’s siren persona on and off screen . . . the “reverse glamour” of Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo. Their power–and that of Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Norma Shearer, Claudette Colbert, and the long-neglected Kay Francis, Dolores Del Rio, and Constance Bennett–lay in using style, wit, and guile to outsmart the studio system and enchant the world. In these pages we see how, veiled in intrigue and mystery, they brought glamour very close to its original meaning: witchcraft.
See my Luscious List of related reading, and some related photos: