Books on Deck: Beauty, Art, and an Aristocrat

More books on deck of wealthy, stylish people and crazy actresses of Hollywood’s golden age. Are you surprised?

This book coming out is like Christmas and my birthday combined. I had always wished for Karl to have a newsletter, and this is as close as it gets. No photos, sadly, but still has fun quotes. I follow his cat on Twitter… so, clearly I’m biased.

karl

I’m searching for this one to pick up, so far she gets married a lot, is a crappy mom, and the lawsuits are here, there, and everywhere. Only interesting thing so far is her relationship with designer Charles James.

millicent

Poor thing, and she’s been on a no carb diet since the day she arrives in Hollywood and is suicidal (I would be if I couldn’t eat carbs anymore). I think she turns out okay in the end.

geneselfportrait

Miss Barbara Hutton went on a diet at Miss Porter’s School (Gene also attended there) eating nothing but biscuits and coffee. That doesn’t sound half bad! I haven’t cracked this open yet, but this is a random fact I know for some reason.

babs

Excited to read this, a fellow CalArts alum who also paints in a way that isn’t preplanned. Of course, one who is not born a woman will automatically have a better art career than one who is.

fischl-stone-bad-boy-book-cover

British aristocracy? Yes please! Especially after this interview. I’m glad this memoir only goes up to when she’s 24 or there about, as I don’t care about David Hicks very much.

empire

A lot of things I already knew, but so far, a few I didn’t. I quick read as I’m already half-way through it, but you know how I am about anything Joan Crawford. I love that it’s called a “divine feud”.

joanbette

Recommended Reading for the Fabulous

This past weekend, I had an excellent slumber party with a few friends at my pad while the husband was out of town. I think we’ve all discovered that adult slumber parties are much more fun than when you are twelve, mainly due to the fact that Bordeaux, Moroccan food, good cheeses, and champagne are involved. The only hiccup was my cat acting like a total douchebag the morning after.

The movie selection had a mild theme:  Sassy, classy, bitches! “Valley of the Dolls”, “Mommie Dearest”, “My Man Godfrey” and “Auntie Mame”. So I got to thinking (as the gals went through my pile of books), why not give a list of some recommended reading for you all? I am certain that if you are like me and love old Hollywood, decor, fashion, and people with too much money — well, you’ll appreciate these biographies and such.

DV by Diana Vreeland. Totally embellished, many delusions, and some flat out lies. But still, a fun read. They don’t make them like her anymore.

Cecil Beaton diaries, as he wrote them. Granted there are many volumes, but I liked this later one simply because I knew all the now obscure characters in his life and was interested in his take on them. There are lulls in it — as Cecil thinks he’s most interesting than he actually is most of the time — but his scathing observations and the life of the rich are worth it.

Bare Blass, the life of Bill Blass. What a wonderful human being! He writes most of it, but there is input from friends like Nan Kempner and Mica Ertegun as well. Love the photos.

Madame. I’ll admit I knew nothing about Helena Rubenstein, but this biography of her later life by her assistant is just fabulous. Cecil Beaton was most accurate in saying, “a witty and heartfelt valentine to an old monster.”

R.S.V.P. by Elsa Maxwell. The people, the parties, all the places she’s lived. It makes you wonder how much it actually true!