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Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style Hardcover – September 4, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Consider this book a must-have for the style-conscious guy in your life--or the guy who needs a few tips." -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 3, 2006

About the Author

Richard Torregrossa is the author of six books and has been a fashion journalist for ten years. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Self, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, and many other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch (September 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821257609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821257609
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Gallagher on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is definitely not your typical cut and paste job - it is a classy, well-written, interesting photo/guide/memoir to probably the greatest film star of all time. Is there anyone even CLOSE to Cary Grant working as an actor in Hollywood today (and please don't say "George Clooney")? Grant's remarkable, disciplined, yet seemingly casual, attention to his appearance went deeper than just mere vanity. He was about class, about being a gentleman, about portraying to the world the kind of grace and style this more sordid world today clearly needs. The author has written a lively, interesting account of his life, the development of that style, and tips for the public, that cut deeper than most books of this type. Grant's upbringing was far different than the man he later became - and he literally "created" himself in lasting, memorable film roles, and, later, as the epitome of class, grace, and style. The photos are candid, the writing is sharp and probing, and the tips are timeless. It's a book worth owning, while the man himself, Cary Grant, is worth emulating. It's amazing - and somewhat sad - to think that American cinema once had the likes of Grant, Hepburn, and Astaire gracing our screens. How much we miss not only their style, but their talent and grace. This book reminds us of what he had - and how we might attempt to achieve it for ourselves. Bravo!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is simply fact that throughout his lengthy career, Cary Grant epitomized a suave elegance that remains unparalleled today. Unless playing the rare character role such as "Father Goose", the actor never looked less than impeccable in appearance and dress in his movies, and he always knew the right thing to say to his leading ladies even if they were too flabbergasted to know his true intentions. Fashion journalist Richard Torregrossa has decided to focus his attention on the timeless self-made image Grant created with this handsome, smartly presented book. Unlike Marc Eliot's more straightforward, introspective look at Grant in 2005, the result here is a comparatively lighter read as it shows the fastidiousness Grant showed in defining fashions and manners for himself that matched the type of man he aspired to be. To substantiate his fashion-forward perspective on Grant's sartorial influence, the author includes a foreword by Giorgio Armani and an afterword by Michael Kors.

Born in relative poverty, the actor saw wearing uniforms as a means toward gaining self-confidence in his appearance, and this translated into the crispness of his custom-made suits and shirts. Grant was a true believer in the less-is-more approach to not only his clothing but to his surroundings at home. Every accessory he owned reflected a specific vision of how he should look and even sound as he meticulously developed his much-imitated accent. The unique élan Grant displayed was matched by none of his male colleagues and probably only Audrey Hepburn on the distaff side. Through the collection of photographs, memorabilia and personal recollections Torregrossa has gathered, we see how he tailored his look and manner through the years. While this book will have obvious appeal with image-conscious metrosexuals, it actually has a broader appeal in showing how seriously Grant took his role as a leading style model. The author effectively shows how the actor's efforts paid off in spades.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By N. Bruce on October 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Cary Grant fans have been waiting a long time for such a worthwhile treatment of the man and his work. Not his film work, but a piece of him that isn't just gossip and hearsay. A Celebration of Style is born from bonafide research and reporting on what set Cary Grant apart from his peers. The book is interesting and easily read as well. Congratulations and thanks to you, Mr. Torregrossa.

While Mr. Grant's style was only one part of his personality and work, it was indeed the part that provided the basis for all the rest. My father always said that he'd take luck over skill any day. To quote his favorite coach, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." That's what this book is about. The painstaking, thorough, and neverending preparation of one Archie Leach. Preparation as an actor and as a gentleman.

While I understand one reviewer's temptation to knock the rating down one notch for want of more pictures and a lower price tag, I have to admit, I haven't recently been more pleased with a book. The pictures selected are appropriate for what the author is discussing and are not only plentiful, but some are rare. The price to publish these must be rather high.

Another reviewer is also correct in pointing out that a picture that appears to be labelled as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. is not either of the Fairbanks men. The gentleman in the picture is actor Dan Tobin portraying Grant's attorney in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. Regrettable error, but not remotely offensive.

Overall Cary Grant: A Ceelebration of Style is a delightfully professional work which tells us about one extraordinary man's art and gives us ordinary folk some practical tips and guidelines for improving our own wardrobes without being preachy or condescending.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
CARY GRANT: A Celebration of Style is an attractive book with an

engaging photo of Cary Grant on its dust jacket. An importantbiography

of personal style, it is also a visual pleasure in its photo accounts

tracing the creation of Cary Grant's classic image.

In his foreword, Giorgio Armani calls Grant an elegant role model, even in his comedy performances. I believe this and am intrigued by this in-depth examination of Grant's life by the author.

I had seen these photographs and was interested by interviews with

fashion designers, actors and others who knew and admired Grant.

His mother had been meticulous about his clothing, even when the family could not afford it. After she entered a sanitarium, he was raised by various relatives, but joined the Boy Scouts and learned to feel honor for his uniform.

During World War II, he worked at the Southampton docks as a messenger and also distributed life preservers to the soldiers there, accepting only military buttons and braids, instead of cash tips. He attached high significance to uniforms and continued to do so with various clothing he adopted for his own style. Grant never lost this habit, either onstage or off, and because of it, he is one of the most emulated personalities of the 20th centuy.

This book reveals some of Grant's secrets of creating style--still applicable today. One is to have integrity and not compromise your values or settle for something inappropriate. Grant sought out sophisticated role models he could respect and made use of their best style qualities (e.g., Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.). Another secret revealed by clothier Stephen Lachter was simplicity.
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