Beginning with the story of her mother’s wedding dress, a perfect black French cocktail dress bought in 1960, writer and former Vogue editor Justine Picardie affirms what all of us may have suspected: that the real value of our wardrobes lies in the history and associations woven into our clothes. Combining tales of her own family and friends, intimate stories from the fashion business, and reflections on clothes in literature and pop culture, Picardie uncovers the truths that lie underneath what we wear. She reflects on the strange disappearance of garments we love; the allure of uniforms; the house that Chanel built; the bridal and ghostly qualities of women in white; the fate of a ring belonging to Charlotte Brontë; the power of scarlet clothing; how Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, and Claude Montana dress themselves; and how the clothes we inherit from loved ones link us to the departed. Rich with fascinating stories from the public and private worlds of fashion, My Mother’s Wedding Dress is a gorgeously written book about what clothes cover up, and what they reveal. The LA Times reviews it today. This is part of what they say about it:
Picardie's method, to allow her thoughts to move from object to memory to culture, fits her madness perfectly. She muses on the terrifying nature of the white dress (think of Emily Dickinson housebound for decades, or Jane Eyre in shades of gray); on the color red and its tendency to lead to fun or adventure; and, of course, on the power of wearing black. She includes lists of the best-dressed characters in literature (Pippi Longstocking is at the top), "Disappeared Clothes (A Familiar Lament)" and "How to Wear Red Lipstick (The Gospel According to Chanel)." She hops; she skips; she jumps.
We have read so many reviews on this book by now that we are becoming very interested in it! We'd just like to take this opportunity, though, to remind her that - also very significantly - Jane closes her book dressed in blue.
Also a reminder that Ms Picardie is very active in the Brontë world these days. She will be at Haworth on June 2 for the Brontë Society AGM Weekend:
Fri, 2 Jun Novelist Justine Picardie will be speaking about her latest book 'My Mother’s Wedding Dress' – West Lane Baptist Chapel – 2.30pm - £2.00 – For further information contact the Audience Development Manager, 01535 640194.