Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore

Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore

by Terry Newman
Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore

Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore

by Terry Newman


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“The most counterintuitive book of the summer thus far…. [Newman’s] surprisingly convincing thesis is that the sartorial choices authors make are deeply connected to the narrative choices they make — or, as Beckett put it, ‘the fabric of language’ they use.” -Vanessa Friedman, The New York Times

Discover the signature sartorial and literary style of fifty men and women of letters, including Maya Angelou; Truman Capote; Colette; Bret Easton Ellis; Allen Ginsberg; Patti Smith; Karl Ove Knausgaard; and David Foster Wallace; in this unique compendium of profiles—packed with eighty black-and-white photographs, excerpts, quotes, and fast facts—that illuminates their impact on modern fashion.

Whether it’s Zadie Smith’s exotic turban, James Joyce’s wire-framed glasses, or Samuel Beckett’s Wallabees, a writer’s attire often reflects the creative and spiritual essence of his or her work. As a non-linear sensibility has come to dominate modern style, curious trendsetters have increasingly found a stimulating muse in writers—many, like Joan Didion, whose personal aesthetic is distinctly "out of fashion." For decades, Didion has used her work, both her journalism and experimental fiction, as a mirror to reflect her innermost emotions and ideas—an originality that has inspired Millennials, resonated with a new generation of fashion designers and cultural tastemakers, and made Didion, in her eighties, the face of Celine in 2015.

Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore examines fifty revered writers—among them Samuel Beckett; Quentin Crisp; Simone de Beauvoir; T.S. Eliot; F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald; Malcolm Gladwell; Donna Tartt; John Updike; Oscar Wilde; and Tom Wolfe—whose work and way of dress bears an idiosyncratic stamp influencing culture today. Terry Newman combines illuminating anecdotes about authors and their work, archival photography, first-person quotations from each writer and current designers, little-known facts, and clothing-oriented excerpts that exemplify their original writing style.

Each entry spotlights an author and a signature wardrobe moment that expresses his or her persona, and reveals how it influences the fashion world today. Newman explores how the particular item of clothing or style has contributed to fashion’s lingua franca—delving deeper to appraise its historical trajectory and distinctive effect. Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore is an invaluable and engaging look at the writers we love—and why we love what they wear—that is sure to captivate lovers of great literature and sophisticated fashion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062428301
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Terry Newman worked in the fashion industry for more than twenty-five years, both as an editor at i-D, Attitude, and Self Service and as a contributing writer for newspapers including the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, and the Sunday Times. She has also written and presented fashion programs in the United Kingdom for Channel 4 (She's Gotta Have It and Slave). The author of Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore (Harper Design), she has contributed to books including i-D's Fashion Now, Fashion Now 2, and Soul i-D. She currently lectures at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom, England and lives in London with her husband and two children.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Samuel Beckett 10

George Sand 16

John Updike 22

Arthur Rimbaud 26

Gertrude Stein 32

Patti Smith 38

Signature Looks: Glasses 44

Allen Ginsberg 45

Robert Crumb 46

Joyce Carol Gates 47

Cornel West 47

David Foster Wallace 48

Sylvia Plath 54

Edith Sitwell 60

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald 66

Marcel Proust 72

Signature Looks: Suits 78

T. S. Eliot 79

Gay Talese 79

Bret Easton Ellis 80

Edgar Allan Poe 80

Mark Twain 81

Jacqueline Susann 82

Fran Lebowitz 86

Joe Orton 90

Simone De Beauvoir 96

Signature Looks: Hair 102

Susan Sontag 103

Karl Ove Knausgaard 104

Malcolm Gladwell 105

Michael Chabon 105

Toni Morrison 106

Ernest Hemingway 107

Donna Tartt 108

Colette 114

Hunter S. Thompson 120

Dorothy Parker 126

Quentin Crisp 130

Joan Didion 136

Virginia Woolf 142

Djuna Barnes 148

Zadie Smith 154

Oscar Wilde 158

Signature Looks: Hats 164

Zora Neale Hurston 165

Edith Wharton 166

Saul Bellow 166

Truman Capote 167

William S. Burroughs 168

James Joyce 172

Nancy Mitford 178

Maya Angelou 184

Tom Wolfe 188

Acknowledgments 194

Bibliography 195

Photography Credits 206

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