Hot Pink by Susan Goldman Rubin
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015
Elsa Schiarelli (nicknamed Schiap) was an innovative voice in the fashion world. From a simple childhood, to a failed marriage, she made her mark on the fashion work in her own way. She took her vision of color, fashion, and practicality and made a name for herself.
In addition to being a great fashion designer, she was a loving mother. The story of her daughter, Maria Luisa (nicknamed Gogo), overcoming polio, and living a great life is a great layer of detail in Schiap’s life.
In addition to her personal life, the book talks about World War I and World War II and it’s impact on fashion and her life. For folks who were curious about how fashion transitioned from Civil-War period hoopshirts to modern fashion. War time rationing and necessity forced fashion to evolve and Schiap was at the center of that evolution.
“All the laws about protection from copyist are vain and useless. The moment that people stop copying you, it means that you are no longer any good and that you have ceased to be news.” (p 20)
“Schiap believed that it was better to have a few well-tailored clothes that fit properly than many cheap, trendy outfits.” (p 35)
“I was still a dreamer, and I continued to have a vision of women dressed in a practical yet dignified and elegant way.” (p 44)
“I remained with the fact that many years ago I had become a maker of dresses, I had overcome great difficulties, enjoyed immense success….The presentation of fashion was a work of art, a truly beautiful thing.” (p 45)
“Niney percent are afraid of being conspicuous and of what people will say…They should dare to be different.” (p 45)