Hot Pink: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli

Susan Goldman Rubin. Abrams, $21.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1642-3
Wedge shoes, shoulder bags, themed fashion collections, and the color hot pink are only a few of the firsts credited to designer Elsa Shiaparelli. Rubin (Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People) catalogues Schiaparelli's childhood influences and her rise to fashion fame in this artfully constructed biography. Born into a well-to-do Italian family, Schiaparelli—who preferred the nickname "Schiap"—reached the pinnacle of the Paris fashion scene in the 1930s: "Schiap compensated for what she believed to be her lack of naturally pretty features with her great style and helped other women do the same. She took pride in transforming women like herself." Rubin deftly describes the fashion and art scene of the time as she details Schiaparelli's innovative contributions in an easy-flowing narrative. Backdrops alternate among white, hot pink, and black, and the typeface color does the same. Full-color vignettes of Schiaparelli's bold designs (e.g., a lobster dress influenced by her friend Salvador Dalí) and b&w archival photos complete the eye-catching layout. An epilogue, author's note, bibliography, and index round out this aesthetic introduction to a groundbreaking artist. Ages 10–14. Agency: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/17/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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