Always Pack A Party Dress
–And Other Lessons Learned From a (Half) Life in Fashion–
by Amanda Brooks
Forget the coffee table — once you have delved into Amanda Brook’s new book, Always Pack a Party Dress, you will want to keep it around to finish quickly and then begin again! Upon a casual skim at the bookstore, one might be tempted to lump Always Pack a Party Dress in with the other stereotypical fashion books filled only with inspired photographs — big mistake!
Brooks artfully portrays the highs and lows of her fashion journey — the book’s layout alone is worthy of praise! We learn where she came from, how it all started, and what is on her current agenda. Written in a style that combines memoir and how-to, Always Pack a Party Dress reflects on her days as the fashion director at Barneys New York. It also touches upon her previous life and how it led her to land this dream job.
Having spent over 20 years in the fashion world, Brooks discusses the evolution of her personal style, not only sharing her best moments, but also those she wishes she could forget — we all have some of those “what was I thinking!?” outfits. Whether you are interested in a career in fashion or not, this book is a must-read. It provides an inside look into the life that, at some point, we all secretly dream of having.
How could you not take advice from someone whose roommate at Brown was the daughter of Carolina Herrera? The same someone who dated Diane Von Furstenberg’s son before settling down with her current husband and having two children — sign me up please!
It is easy to get caught up in the fashion world and lose touch with yourself, but Brooks has been praised both for remaining true to herself and for explaining how she was able to through her writing.
Collective praise for Always Pack a Party Dress includes:
“She doesn’t let them dictate who she is”- Garance Dore
“Style that is as original as she is”- Tory Burch
“Read to know how to live authentically and well”- Amy Astely
On hiatus from attending galas and running Barney’s, Brooks currently resides at a family farmhouse in the English countryside — talk about living a double life! She was “sitting at the kitchen table, dressed in jodhpurs and muddy boots, just in from a morning ride” when she began to write this book and embark on her “creative sabbatical.” Peppered with personal anecdotes and “side bars” that are full of witty prose, Amanda Brooks truly expresses an original view on all things fashion in her book, Always Pack a Party Dress.