My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me

Volk, Patricia

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
"[A] memoir ... that juxtaposes two fascinating lives--the iconoclastic designer Elsa Schiaparelli and the author's own mother--to explore how a girl fashions herself into a woman"--Dust jacket flap.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0307962105
Branch Call Number: B-Vo882sh 2013
Characteristics: ix, 283 p. :,ill. (some col.) ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

We all have that one book that we read as a child that impacted our life. For Patricia Volk, that book is Elsa Schiaparelli's Shocking Life. Volk's family life was less than ideal, so she opted to adopt Elsa as her mother, rather than her own.

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Feb 19, 2014

"Growing up in fashion-conscious circles in New York City, author Patricia Volk admired and loved her beautiful mother Audrey, observing her ability to maintain her gorgeous image and her womanly mystique. Despite being impressed with her mother, though, Patricia couldn't adhere to Audrey's expectations. At age ten she discovered a very different model of womanhood when she read fashionista Elsa Schiaparelli's memoir A Shocking Life. In her memoir Shocked, Patricia reviews the contradictory effects of these two role models on her persona as she depicts her life and the New York society that formed her. Employing sharply witty vignettes, she paints a portrait of three lives -- her own, her mother's, and Schiaparelli's. "Witty, tender, and vividly nostalgic," Biography and Memoir February 2014 newsletter

Dec 14, 2013
  • pattyskypants rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I know these people; this was amusing. But now I wish to know more about Schiaparelli, but does the library have copy of her book?

Jun 05, 2013
  • JCLEmilyW rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This unusual memoir grabbed me with its examination of womanhood and style through the eyes of a young girl. Author Patricia Volk describes her two most powerful role-models--her beautiful and controlled mother, Audrey Volk, and Elsa Schiaparelli, the risk-taking and avante garde fashion designer. Topical essays compare Audrey and Elsa's opinions on clothing, friends, and womanhood with a rich combination of anecdotes and photos. While "Shocking" is a quick, fun read, Patricia Volk is very insightful about the complex ways that we construct an attitude toward life and style.

May 22, 2013
  • JulieT584 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I love e books! Love them love them love them. A plus for this book's e version: I used the built-in dictionary a few times. A negative: there are photos in the book. I could see them on my old school, e-ink nook, but I imagine they're in color in the pront version. Hey! They'd probably be in color in tablet version, too!


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