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Shocking Life (Anglais) Broché – 1 mars 2007

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Shocking Life Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) was one of the leading fashion designers of the 1920s and 1930s with a flair for the unusual. This autobiography charts her rise from resident of a rat-infested apartment to designer to the stars. Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 16 commentaires
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shockingly charming 14 mars 2010
Par Sarah Mascara - Publié sur
Format: Broché
An absolutely charming little read, it lacks a lot of in depth discussion about her creative process, but it makes up for it in the delightful characterization of one of the most fascinating women designers of the 20th century. Schiap, as she refers to herself in the 3rd person (before switching fluidly back to 1st person), comes across the pages as a singular force powered by innate stubbornness and an insatiable curiosity about life. She breaks rules with a wink and a nod, bends conventions with effortless ease, and conveys the triumphs and disappointments of her remarkable life with self-effacing humor and tenderness.

It's not a deep, soul-searching autobiography, but neither is it complete fluff. She managed to strike the balance between exposing herself and keeping some things a tantalizing mystery... Something many of today's celebrity autobiographers could learn from.
17 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
You left wandering where the 'shocking' was left.... 7 juin 2009
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
For a fashion designer that in her time invented the newspaper print, the bottle perfume made as a little body -now copied by Gaultier-, the first zipper in a haute couture dress and a variety of items from hats to shoes and dresses inspired by surrealism and dada, this autobiography lacks of real interest in design and fashion.

Have you ever met such a lady so fascinated with herself that she always thinks everything she does from open a beer can to walk her dog is a world event? This is precisely the case here. Even when is not boring to read, Elsa seem to forget her real contribution to fashion design, and then what we get is a collection of traveling and social acquaintances. Once and then she just drop, 'and that was the time when I made the Roi Soleil -a perfume with a bottle designed by Dali, commemorative of the end of french occupation-' or I made a hat....
Her quite serendipitious arrive to fashion design when she order a knitted sweater to be made on her with a big ribbon drawn in the front by some armenian woman, was spotted in the street and get an order for dozens of them, was then continued by a career of many extravagancies -skeletons, lobster dress, a shoe-hat, that made her in that times more famous than Coco Chanel.

She stopped her career after the world war, when she was not able to be in tone with the zeitgeist and went into oblivion, when you read this book and just have the vague mention of Marcel Duchamp -his lover Maria Martins-, Dali, Paul Poiret, Greta Garbo, Lucien Lelong, even Chanel and Dior, but never get any interesting detail about them, you start to realize that maybe Elsa was to much intoxicated by herself to even be aware of the extraordinary presences she has in front of her eyes. And left guessing if she was just extraordinary lucky to be at the right time and place with a knitted sweater and drawn ribbon. By a very strange self censorship we do not get even the slightly glimpse into her love life or any spicy anecdote about anyone in the surroundings either!
it has some little pages with a few black and white photographs of her, her dogs and daughter -never the dresses- and at the end of each chapter a cute fashion drawing made by herself.

Nevertheless can be read easily and stands as a portrait of the time between the wars in Europe and America... if only she would stop and tell us a little about her process, how she get inspired, what she thought about the garment construction, how she organized the atelier, etc. then it would be something of real interest for the designer and the aficionado, and not just a curiosity of interest only for the fashion historian -like me-.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a mother-daughter book 16 septembre 2013
Par Molly Haskell - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Elsa is a fascinating figure, especially as seen through the eyes of a girl growing up and wanting to spread her wings, but the book is really a fabulous mother-daughter story. It is brilliant and funny and original--the way the text and the illustrations play off each other--but at the heart is the portrait of a mother whose beauty was essential to her sense of self, and who was by turns loving, cruel, indifferent and demanding. Shocking pays affectionate tribute to a New York childhood while chronicling the ways in which a free-spirited daughter escaped the conventional standards of looks and behavior imposed by her mother.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Too much pov shifting 5 septembre 2013
Par Bunny A. Goodjohn - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I found the autobiography a little self-important somehow. Of course, she IS important, but it felt too heavy handed to me. Also I found the shifts from first person to third person jarring. I didn't finish the book but gave up about 2/3rds through.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Reads just like a personal diary 25 août 2012
Par ParisBreakfast - Publié sur
Format: Broché
A fascinating look inside 'Schiap's life, following her day to day. Especially interesting are her survival techniques during the war and her ingenuity solving creative and life problems. A wonderful inside view of a uniquely innovative woman.
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