Southern girl gone wild

Confessions of a Rebel Debutante by Anna Fields is a bittersweet memoir that is heavy on the bitter. Anna details her idyllic small town childhood as a tomboy, but even then she has issues with the bullies. According to Anna, she begins her "debutante training" at age 11, with dance classes and finishing school. This is when Anna’s so-called “rebellion” begins. 

It is not unique; it consists of truancy, smoking and the usual teenage cutting up. The book is a fascinating contradiction, in that while Anna sees herself as rebel, but she adores everything about the South. She can’t get enough of Southern traditions or her own mythologized family
Anna’s biggest problem is that she can’t click with “in crowd”. And even though she doesn’t admit it, that’s what she wants to be — in with the “in crowd”. In true ‘belle’ style, she attributes all her problems to her superior intellect. After completing finishing school she goes an Ivy League university where she doesn’t fit in either. Anna then takes a fling at acting in Hollywood where she also works as Diana Ross’ assistant.
Eventually, Anna returns to New York to attend graduate school. She works for Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York City. Those two tales alone are worth the price of the book.
Anna is a perpetual victim as she tries to conquer both Hollywood and New York. One thing we learn from Fields is that Southern debutante training gives a girl plenty of chutzpah. 
If you aren’t familiar with debutante rituals or Southern traditions you’ll be fascinated and amused.

Jimmy Choo I love you!

The Towering World of Jimmy Choo: A Glamorous Story of Power, Profits, and the Pursuit of the Perfect Shoe by Lauren Goldstein-Crowe and Sagra Maceira de Rosen. This is tale of the first shoe brand to shoot to fame on Sex and the City, a virtual paean to designer goods: Jimmy Choo. It is also the story of the first successfully-created luxury brand. All other successful luxury brands have been around for decades: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Lanvin, Balmain. The whole pantheon of established designer houses have pedigrees going back several decades or more.

Jimmy Choo is a Chinese immigrant who trained as a shoe designer at the prestigious St. Martins College in London. He’s quiet and creative, but was so mocked for his accent and lack of language skills, he became even more withdrawn and reticent.

London socialite Tamara Yeardye, daughter of model Ann Yeardye and Tom Yeardye, who helped launch Vidal Sassoon, discovered Jimmy Choo while working as a fashion assistant at London Vogue. Fashion editors and socialites flocked to Jimmy Choo’s small and unglamorous atelier for fabulous, ethereal handmade shoes. Jimmy Choo had garnered a name as the man who could make any shoe a Vogue editorial would need, anything to delight even the most discriminating fashionista.
Tamara formed a partnership with Jimmy Choo. Her father backed the deal financially, and offered his guidance as a savvy entrepreneur. She opened her first shop in London, and Jimmy Choo quickly attained cult status among fashionistas everywhere. What followed is one of the greatest fashion business success stories ever told.

The authors are Lauren Goldstein Crowe, a fashion and business journalist, and Sagra Maceira de Rosen, head of the luxury and retail division of Reig Capital Group. Their knowledge and expertise shines. The book is a page-turner, as well as a primer on the business of fashion. I could not put it down, nor will any fashionista! This is a must-read. Buy it for your fashion-loving mother for Mother’s Day — she will love it!