Monday, September 14, 2015

Tales From the Back Row by Amy Odell


Tales From the Back Row by Amy Odell

Review by Lauren

source: copy from netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: In Tales from the Back Row, Cosmopolitan.com editor Amy Odell takes readers behind the stage of New York’s hottest fashion shows to meet the world’s most influential models, designers, celebrities, editors, and photographers.

But first, she has to push her way through the crowds outside, where we see the lengths people go to be noticed by the lurking paparazzi, and weave her way through the packed venue, from the very back row to the front. And as Amy climbs the ladder (with tips about how you can, too), she introduces an industry powered by larger-than-life characters: she meets the intimidating Anna Wintour and the surprisingly gracious Rachel Zoe, not to mention the hilarious Chelsea Handler, and more.

As she describes the allure of Alexander Wang’s ripped tights and Marchesa’s Oscar-worthy dresses, Amy artfully layers in something else: ultimately this book is about how the fashion industry is an exaggerated mirror of human fallibility—reflecting our desperate desire to belong, to make a mark, to be included. For Amy is the first to admit that as much as she is embarrassed by the thrill she gets when she receives an invitation to an exclusive after-party, she can’t help but RSVP “yes.”


Review: I won't say I know a lot about the fashion industry, but I do know that it seems over-the-top and a tad ridiculous at times. I see certain trends or runway looks and I can only think "why?" Because of this, I really did enjoy Amy Odell's memoir about making it on top in the fashion world. She learns to really love and understand fashion, but she still keeps her sense of humor and understanding that not everything designers create is fantastic. She knows that certain trends are a bit off-the-wall and only fashion people can really pull the look off. At the same time, she loves her job and she's fascinated by the world of fashion. With all that passion, she's essentially living her dream.

While this book is a memoir, it is focused around fashion. There are personal stories about wearing designer sweatpants to have dinner with her boyfriend's parents, but again, it's mostly about the fashion. This doesn't bother me, but if you really hate any talk of fashion, this won't be for you. I really liked the stories about Odell's various writing jobs. She didn't start out focusing on fashion, but she eventually ended up there after being assigned a lot of writing jobs concerning the topic. I've done freelance writing in the past and writing is something that I really enjoy, so it was cool to see a professional in her field talk about her experiences.

Tales From the Back Row was a good read. Again, it's very much about fashion so if you love it or are interested enough like me? Check it out. Not so much? I'd pass on this one!

21 comments:

Kindlemom said...

Designer sweatpants I love it!
This actually sounds like it was a fun read and I love that there was humor in it, especially about the fashion because I think there would have to be. I mean really, some of that stuff is pretty out there!

cleemckenzie said...

It's a world that is so crazy and yet so dazzling. I'd like to know more about it and what some of the behind
the scenes stories are.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I know nothing about fashion, so I would be curious to learn a bit more. This does sound interesting.

Karen Alderman said...

Probably not the book for me. Fashion bores me. lol

Karen @For What It's Worth

Grace @ RebelMommyBookBlog said...

While I myself am not fashionable I have a weird fascination with the industry. I will have to check this one out for sure - Thanks for the review!

The Bibliophile Babe said...

It sounds like a fun read!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy :)

Naomi Hop said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I'm not one for fashion myself, but I'm glad you liked it.

Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

Christy @ Love of Books said...

Oh, it definitely is ridiculous at times. lol. Just have to look at it like art. This sounds like a fun book.

Melliane said...

It must be fun, it's an interesting topic there.

Tracy Terry said...

Loving the simple and understated cover but alas this is where my interest in this one ends. Great review though, my sister-in-law would no doubt enjoy this book.

Beth said...

This absolutely doesn't sound like the sort of thing I'd be interested in, but the powers of your reviewing skills clearly know no bounds, because now I kind of want to read it! I mean, I have NO interest in fashion (I'm wearing a jumper and bunny print pj bottoms and thermal socks right now, and that's quite a good look for me!) but I am intrigued about the industry...
Beth x

Erika Sorocco said...

Yaaasss! I totally need this book in my life - I know I would love it!

xx

Rebecca Harasym said...

This is a book that I would love to read! It sounds like it really shows what fashion can be like. It can be fun, crazy, ridiculous and amazing all in one day. Now I feel like I need a pair of designer sweatpants! LOL!

Rebecca
http://www.winnipegstyle.ca/Blog/default.cfm

Candace said...

I don't know much about fashion but I think I might find this one pretty interesting!

Liviania said...

I'm not big on memoirs, but this sounds fun.

Jennifer Humphries said...

This sounds like a book I would like, the designer sweatpants. That is hilarious!

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm not into fashion, but I do like a good memoir.

Kristin @ My ParaHangover said...

Wow! This actually sounds like a non-fiction book I'd actually like to read! I'll have to check it out and see if the library has it :)

Great review!

Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger said...

I'd love to learn more about the fashion industry. I'm a huuuuge fan f Project Runway and fashion shows :)

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Yeah, don't think this would be for me, not really into fashion much at all. :(