During the glittering Twenties and Thirties, Elsa Schiaparelli was
the undisputed queen of fashion. Everyone who was anyone, from
Vivien Leigh to the Duchess of Windsor, entered her doors in Paris
and wore whatever she told them.
Meryle Secrest was born and educated in Bath, England, and lives in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Between Me and Life: A Biography of Romaine Brooks, Being Bernard Berenson, Kenneth Clark: A Biography, Salvador Dali, Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography, Leonard Bernstein: A Life, Stephen Sondheim: A Life, Somewhere for Me: A Biography of Richard Rodgers, Duveen: A Life in Art, and Modigliani: A Life, and is the recipient of the 2006 National Humanities Medal.
Secrest's biography is a wonderful insight into a life that history
hasn't remembered as well as it should have. * Vogue *
Ms Secrest's incisive, sympathetic life demonstrates great skill in unpicking the web of myths that Schiaparelli wove to reveal the shape of the woman beneath. * The Economist *
The cast is thrilling....the locations are glamorous...Her story fairly rips along. -- Rachel Cooke * the Observer *
This biography paints a compelling picture of a shrewd businesswoman gussying up her product art, and making a killing. Schiap proves as persuasive today as she was 80 years ago. * The Independent *
Secrest is no fashion hagiographer: she is as sharp about the rich, demanding customers for haute couture as about the imperious, eccentric designers who dressed them...Whatever the shock behind the pink, Secrest gets to it with admiration for Schiap's unique style and appreciation for her as a reflection of her times. * The Times *