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Download The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris Audiobook, by Alicia Drake Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 53.65 out of 5 3.65 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alicia Drake Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781470806866
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In the 1970s, Paris fashion exploded like a champagne bottle left out in the sun. Amid sequins and longing, celebrities and aspirants flocked to the heart of chic, and Paris became a hothouse of revelry, intrigue, and searing ambition. At the center of it all were fashion’s most beloved luminaries—Yves Saint Laurent, the reclusive enfant terrible, and Karl Lagerfeld, the flamboyant freelancer with a talent for reinvention—and they divided Paris into two fabulous halves. Their enduring rivalry is chronicled in this dazzling exposé of an era: of social ambitions, shared obsessions, and the mesmerizing quest for beauty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Deliciously dramatic…The Beautiful Fall crackles with excitement.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Fascinating.”

    New York Times

  • “[It] moves stylishly forward, with frequent over-the-shoulder glances at some very dishy background…A story constructed as exquisitely as a couture dress.”

    Boston Globe

  • “This is an extremely readable and impressively researched book.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Addictive.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “It’s like US Weekly, 1970s style.”

    Gotham 

  • “This smart book stitches together the lives, loves, personalities, and obsessions of two iconic designers, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, into a work as finely detailed as any outfit they ever sent down a runway.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “These titanic designers crafted their personas as carefully as they put together their luxurious collections, and we come to know them as reflections in the mirror houses they built…Ultimately, Drake makes a good case for the extraordinary nature of their individual achievements and the revolutionary effect of their competitive energy on the fashion industry. And yet we’re left with a portrait defined more by the careful craft of its brushstrokes than by the substance of the sitters.”

    Booklist

  • A 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 2/15/2014

    " Not necessarily about fashion itself (my one criticism is that there's not enough description of the designers' actual work), The Beautiful Fall paints a detailed portrait of the extravagance of Paris fashion in the 1970s, focusing on the rivalry between Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. Drake writes in an over-the-top style that sounds exactly like how fashion people talk, and the voice complements the story beautifully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Muffy Kroha | 2/7/2014

    " So far I love it- great history- Lord! Lagerfeld is older than King Tut!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruth | 1/31/2014

    " dreadful. not fun. should have been fun. only occasionally fun. not fun enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mindy Sue | 1/26/2014

    " This is such a great book about fashion and Paris. I love it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 1/19/2014

    " Good and gossipy. A blurb on my paperback copy says something to the effect of "Like US Weekly but in the 70's". The fact that Karl Lagerfeld tried to sue the author for invasion of privacy after it was published makes it even better. I finished it mere days before Yves Saint Laurent passed away, which made it even more interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrin | 1/18/2014

    " Just on the first few pages and am really enjoying...will tell more later! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 kevin | 1/13/2014

    " An essential tome for fashion-obsessed / fashion-damaged gays, such as myself, who religiously "read" back copies of Vogue and Bazaar and W ... bitchy and mean-spirited, just how you'd expect it to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucia | 12/23/2013

    " a glimpse in to the world of couture - and fashion in 1970s paris. you will understand more about YSL and KL as people (flawed of course) not just brand names. interesting with context to HIV, drug use and warhol in the 80 as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 tyler | 12/22/2013

    " An amazing book about 1970's Paris torn in half, one side ruled by Yves Saint Laurent and the other by Karl Lagerfeld. Any lover of fashion must read this amazing novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ida Rand | 11/5/2013

    " made me realize i have no one in my life who cares about fashion--and i'm okay with that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerrilynn Pamer | 11/5/2013

    " A fun and engaging account of fashion in Paris in the 70's. Not particularly well written but an engrossing and indulgent read if you're into fashion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonja Fitz | 11/1/2013

    " I loved this book, but I have a weakness for the gossipy glam and creative ambitiousness of the fashion world. :) It was wonderfully detailed about St. Laurent's life, others in the industry at the same time as him, and the forces that shaped his aesthetic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip | 10/15/2013

    " The fun and the tragedy of Paris in the 70's. The people who redefined fashion from a historical and political point of view, and all the bitchiness that ensued. I enjoyed reading this immensely and felt I needed to drink more champagne afterwards. Recommended for fashion lovers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Brett-Kearns | 8/15/2013

    " Definitely worth a read for business purposes or if you are really into fashion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liana | 6/3/2013

    " I can never finish fiction books. I was entranced in the beginning by the endless biography about YSL, Karl Lagerfeld and their entwined lives within the 1970's Parisian "it" crowd, but now it's getting redundant and I struggle to finish it. Very interesting and well-written if you're into fashion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 daniela | 5/6/2013

    " YSL and Lagerfeld -- beginning to end. Do I need to say more? Fun, fantastic, fashionable and excessive. You will look at these man and their work in a new light of history after reading this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 2/8/2013

    " A thorough exploration of the relationship and careers of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent by someone who took a great deal of care to understand the Parisian fashion world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cory | 9/6/2012

    " This reads like a breathless high school term paper written by a star struck kid who just looooves fashion. I hate to say it but I've abandoned it - despite being interested in the topic I just couldn't stomach the style. Maybe I'll pick it up again someday but right now I'll pass. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alfredo Ruiz | 8/21/2012

    " God, this was a bit painful. It felt like I was reading a 400 page high-school term paper. The only thing that kept my interest was the subject matter. I was able to gain more insight on Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, and a bit of fashion history. It was thorough, but so repetitive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberly | 8/17/2012

    " Three and a half stars. So glad not have been there, but fun to read about! "

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About the Author

Alicia Drake writes regularly for publications including the International Herald Tribune, British Vogue, Travel and Leisure, and W magazine, for which she was a contributing editor. She has lived and worked in Paris for the last ten years.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.