I am a huge fan of Oprah (no this isn't an Oprah book) and I particularly love O, The Oprah Magazine. Since I work during the day and am never home when the Oprah Show is on, that is how I get my Oprah fix. A few months back, one of my favorite O Mag contributors, Lisa Kogen, wrote this article about how she loves the memoir 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore' and so I had to read it!
Let me start by saying that 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore' is not a full length memoir. I thought it would be so I wanted to point that out up front. It is more a collection of short stories with illustrations. Ilene Beckerman wrote about her life by telling us the story of her clothes on one side and illustrating them on the other. I think for most women, if clothes maybe don't define many moments of their life, they can at least relate to Ilene in her reflections on clothes and how they defined her own. For example, she remembers her childhood and being embarrassed about homemade clothes and then in high school wanting to be more like her friends. She reflects on the dresses she wore for her weddings and the suit she bought for her first interview. For me, as someone who went to a Catholic private school for eight years and therefore had to wear a uniform for most of her childhood my memories of my childhood are one big picture of plaid. BUT the second I was let out of there I suddenly became addicted to the freedom of choosing what I could wear every day and have never looked back!
Ilene's stories are short and to the point. There is no big reminiscence or major 'what might have been' in this memoir so if you are looking for something deep this isn't it. You could seriously flip through this in a half hour. It is, however, a cute little look through the changing fashions and how they related to one women's life.
One other thing to note. While trying to find the article for you to read that inspired me to pick up this book in the first place, I discovered that they have turned this book into a Broadway play. I actually think this would be even better in that format. I hope it comes to SF!
(This book was obtained through paperbackswap.com)