Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE KILLER DETAIL by Francois Armanet and Elisabeth Quin

If anyone knows fashion it would be the team of Francois Armanet and Elisabeth Quin.  He is editor-in-chief of a leading French news magazine, has directed a feature film, published three novels and an encyclopedia on Kung Fu film.  She is the journalist and host of a daily news program on Arte, has a weekly column in Madame Figaro, and has published three books.  Here is a dynamic, intelligent, sophisticated duo if there is one, and their book, The Killer Detail, is surprising, informative and a joy to peruse time and time again.  They would describe the “killer detail” as the unique touch that attracts our attention, emphasizes an attitude, and perfects a style....a dash of individuality that can verge on bad taste.”

To illustrate their thesis they have chosen 126 well-known males and females of the 20th century - everyone from Fred Astaire to Joanne Woodward to Pablo Picasso to Grace Kelly and more in between, Each subject is studied both photographically and psychologically, all photographed by some of the world’s most famous photographers.

We find Jane Russell (38D-24-36) who parlayed her physical attributes to success in a total of 24 films.  What is she wearing?  A sweater, of course.  Kirk Douglas wears cotton pajamas (“so much chicer than silk”) on a balcony in Rome.  Errol Flynn is barefoot in his loafers, and Andre Gide wears sandals.  Audrey Hepburn is remembered for giant sunglasses and a silk head scarf tied under her chin(‘tis said she owned about 40 scarves).

Not to worry - Jackie Kennedy is not forgotten as she strolls in Italian sandals wearing a Hermes scarf like a pirate’s bandana.

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