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Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Apart from her performances, Hepburn had a style far ahead of its time. Maybe we take that for granted. I loved a picture of Hepburn in "Rebel Chic." Taken in 1932, around the time she made "A Bill of Divorcement," she's on the RKO lot wearing a pair of faded jeans and a mink coat, with a scarf knotted at her neck. That image could have been taken today, with the difference that Hepburn wasn't trying to be someone cool or chic. She just was." ~New York Times

"Along with insightful, beautifully written essays, the book includes many never-before-published images of Kate the Great's costumes and personal wardrobe..." ~Fashioninformer.com

About the Author

Jean Druesedow is the director of the Kent State University Museum and was formerly the president of the Costume Society of America. Barbara Cohen-Stratyner is the curator of exhibitions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Nancy MacDonell is a fashion journalist and author. Judy Samelson is the former editor of Playbill magazine. Kohle Yohannan is a historian, curator, and the author of several fashion books, including Valentina (Rizzoli, 2009).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli; Gift edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847838919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847838912
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lyric VINE VOICE on October 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays by writers, fashion historians, and fashion curators focused on the iconic actress Katharine Hepburn through the prism of her influence on American fashion. Hepburn had a wonderful fashion sense which was demonstrated in her every day wardrobe of beautifully tailored trousers, turtlenecks, sweaters, pantsuits and the many hats she accumulated over the years. She always looked modern regardless of her age and she always was unique. The essays convey the fact that Hepburn was very aware of her clothing and the impression they made even though she appeared to not care. The book also discusses the fact that when Hepburn was being dressed for stage, screen, or private wear, she was an active participant in the designing of those clothes. The many designers with whom she worked recognized that she was very knowledgable in regard to what worked best and they appreciated that she was a professional in her approach to what she wore, on and off screen or stage. Hepburn was blessed with a splendid figure for fashion along with a photogenic face and added to that was a keen intelligence and awareness of what worked best for her. The essays provide context and commentary for the many photographs in the book -- many photos not previously seen by the general public. The book grew out of the 2010 exhibition at Kent State University of Hepburn's theatrical and film costumes. Now the exhibit has moved to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (Oct. 18 2012 through January 12, 2013)and this book includes photos of the costumes from the exhibit.

This book is a "must have" for any Hepburn fan and for anyone interested in American sportswear and one of the women who made it acceptable for women to wear pants everywhere.
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Format: Hardcover
I can finally say I love Katharine Hepburn. I have always enjoyed her movie performances, but, to me, there was always something different about her from any other actress, both from her own time and now. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and I could never really decide if I liked it or not. Until I read this book.

I get it now, and I adore her even more for it.

Rebel Chic by Jean Druesedow (with several contributors) is about Katharine Hepburn's "style" - a fashion term in this case, but it reveals so much more about her that I can finally see clearly in her acting performances. According to Rebel Chic, Hepburn had a very authentic style, it was her own, and she didn't care what everyone else was doing or whether or not they approved of it. Her trademark trousers and "preppy" look was way out of the norm for actresses (and all women) back in the early days of her career. Her simplicity of style and marked individualism revealed her personality. The real Kate - The woman who thrived on independence, comfort and both hard work and hard play. In Rebel Chic, it seems that she's the reason I can sit here in jeans today, as a woman, and be totally accepted anywhere I go. Through this book, I realize she played a big part in making that okay. It certainly wouldn't have been the case 80 years ago or so. The photographs are good too, and include some of her costars. But overall, this is a style book. In every photograph I can clearly see the fierce individualism in Kate that I had a hard time identifying before I read this book. It's inspiring. She's inspiring.

Katharine Hepburn was definitely before her time when it comes to style and Rebel Chic highlights all of the reasons why. It also lets us in on the personality that made it all happen. It's a wonderful book worth reading...and reading again.
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The book contains several essays on Hepburn and her style - from the costumes she wore on stage or screen to her personal wardrobe. The essays also provide information on the various designers Hepburn worked with and background information on them. However, the highlight of the book are the numerous photographs, both black & white and color, of Hepburn and some of her amazing wardrobe pieces. Many of these photographs have not been published previously. The book also shows several of the costumes that are part of the exhibit at the Kent State Fashion Museum as well as a photo of Hepburn wearing the same costume on the screen or on stage. Having seen the exhibit at Kent State, this book is an excellent addition to that exhibit and a nice tribute to Hepburn and her style.
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I am a big fan of Hepburn, have always loved her style of clothes and they way she wore them. In the book tells how she did love clothes as she would have some things made for her to wear after the movie. She had her own style, could wear a dress or her pants and pull it off with great class as only Katharine could.
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By brisby on November 21, 2012
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Loved the book and pictures. I recommend it to any fan of Ms. Hepburn and the 'golden age' of Hollywood.
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Marvelous. Gave this to my daughter for her birthday - she loves Katharine too. She was a wonderful actress and is still my favorite (close runner up to Bette Davis.
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