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House of Lachasse: The Story of a Very English Gentleman Hardcover – 1 Nov 2009
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The past may be a foreign country where things are done differently, but so is the world of Haute Couture, a kingdom of rules and shibboleths and dangers unknown to lesser mortals. In his delightful memoir, The House of Lachasse, Peter Lewis Crown undertakes to reveal, and to guide us through, this exotic territory, where the characters of both the flamboyant, designers and the frequently demanding and often impossible clients, are all as colourful as the stuff from which those wonderful clothes were made. Ultimately, the book provides a kindly view of these shenanigans, the clue being in the sub-title, The Story of a very English Gentleman, and it is sometimes hard to understand how a man with the courteous and gentle instincts of a diffident, manorial lord, can have survived among the savage, flesh-eating beasts of this particular jungle, but it only makes the journey warmer and more satisfying. Of course, Crown is dealing here with a world which, if not quite lost, has become the demesne of a brasher, newer group, and viewed through the lense of his charming and comfortable prose it is difficult not to feel a twang of nostalgia for those imperious great ladies who made life so hard, yet so rewarding, for this particular gentleman in the London of half a century ago. Even for those who do not lament the changes that have curtailed the pleasures of those born to rule, this is a memorable account of a way of life, and a way of thinking, that always boasted plenty of real style. --Julian Fellowes
Peter Lewis-Crown s story is engagingly embroidered with anecdote. His passion illuminates the narrative... --Dame Norma Major DBE
Peter Lewis-Crown s story of his life and immensely distinguished career as a designer and creator of women s fashion is a fascinating account of his reflections, memories and beliefs about that indispensably important aspect of a lady s life. An elegantly expressed history of a Great House of Fashion. --Edward Fox
About the Author
I dressed many people through my long career and, whether they were royalty or had saved up for a Lachasse garment, I gave each one a sense of confidence. I believe that if you care about your clothes and appearance then it gives inner confidence to you and joy to other peopleA". The above sums up the career and personal achievement of Peter Lewis-Crown OBESee all Product description
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Having been one of many people that have passed through Peter's life, I can honestly say that the book is also a fine example of a self-made man and a true British gentleman. His strong, infectious enthusiasm and passion for his work really shines through the text, but does not overpower his long-standing keen desire and empathy to help people and share his deep knowledge of the fashion field through education and charity.
I think what this book really deserves is a large companion coffee-table edition that would include additional photos and sketches of his treasured work at the House of Lachasse. It would be wonderful if someone could pull together a book that would chronicle the visual side, showing how the designs progressed from the paper sketch to the actual garment, the construction techniques, as well as many of the changes in styles over the course of time in this premier haute couture house. I'm sure that additional photos of Peter's work and a well-prepared chronicle and bibliography of the shows, events, and other media, such as his radio and television appearances, would be equally appreciated by many.
There are also many things that we can all learn from the wonderful life experiences and challenges included in the book and I recommend it to students of fashion, readers with an interest in British fashion and its history, and really anyone who has an independent entrepreneurial spirit and a strong desire to succeed.
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