The CoatCheck Tales

stories about stuff, but mostly fashion



I’ve always struggled finding readable books. My attention spam is so short that I’m lucky if I can concentrate for more than a few minutes.

As a child, in school they’d give us the thickest and most boring books to read and of course, make a report. My dad also would strongly encourage me to read books he considered important in order to be a well cultured person: politics, philosophy, some novels. Anyway, I used to read one page over and over again, after the first phrase I’d get distracted and just stared at the rest of the page day dreaming. Not fun. I was unable to memorize dates, history facts, people’s names…

The only way I’d learn anything was by association or logics, always had to turn things around to incorporate them into my brain.

One thing is to read manual-books, how-to-books on fashion, pattern making, and so. They contain mostly instructions, and for me it’s the easiest and funnest. But another thing is to read a story, novel, essay….words without drawings

I’ve had trouble finding books that’d catch my attention literally. A couple of years ago I discovered David Sedaris and started devouring his books, one after the other. I’ve read them once and twice and loved them more each time. He is an american writer/comedian, funny, smart and insightful. Reading his books and articles inspired me to write more, and with less shame and self-consciousness of my personal experiences. I was thought that focusing on oneself could be read as pretentious and selfish   -I guess that growing up and assisting to a catholic school (for 12 years) you develop some kind of shyness and modesty and specially if you are a woman in a men’s ruled world like the catholic church.

So I’m done with his books and have to wait at least two more years for a new one. Ugh!. Good thing though, is that he is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker Magazine. I like him so much!

I love visiting libraries, I grab a book I think I might like, leaf through it and if it doesn’t tell me anything I move on. In one of my searches, I run into this very suggestive title in the fashion and design section: Asylum, a collage of couture reminiscences…and hysteria. I read a few lines but didn’t buy the book, I put it on my wish list, just to see if I could find something else, but I didn’t.


The author is Simon Doonan, a renown window dresser for over 25 years at the very famous department store Barney’s New York.

What kept me reading was how he compared people in the fashion industry with people in a metal asylum: …’Style insiders see patterns and trends in everything: they suffer from outsize personality disorders and delusions of grandeur: and of course, they have a predilection for the theatrical make up and artfully distorted clothing‘…

Anna Piaggi outside Christian LacroixAnna Piaggi and her magic wand

Fashion-icon-Vivienne-Westwood-tops-British-eccentric-listVery admired fashion designer Vivian Westwood and her orange hair

Andre+Leon+Talley+Valentino+45th+Anniversary+m6SQJTxbA6ulOMG! I never understood André-Leon-Talley and his moumou, cape, robe, tunic, shroud…(?)

john-gallianoAwe! John Galliano, the infamous designer, I miss his wacky looks

You’ll find chapters named: Lipstick on your kneecaps, Toxins are the new cargo pant and Plato ripped my blouse. It’s a funny, witty book I’d recommend to fashion lovers or fashion curious.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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