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It's All about the Dress: What I Learned in Forty Years about Men, Women, Sex, and Fashion

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  44 reviews

Vicky Tiel started as an “it” girl of the 1960s and has had a four decade career designing clothes that make real women look fabulous.  Her sexy, fresh hot pants and miniskirts were used by Woody Allen in his first movie, What’s New, Pussycat?, her classic design inspired the red dress that transformed Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and her creations are wor

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published (first published August 16th 2011)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  221 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Jennifer Daly
Apr 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
No one is more in love with herself than Vicky Tiel. I studied fashion in college and have been an avid fashion follower my whole life, yet I had never heard of this woman until I discovered her book at the library. According to her, though, she invented the mini skirt (liar, liar, pants on fire Mary Quant?) And she tells a little story about meeting Coco Chanel which makes it sound as if Coco bestowed her blessing on Vicky as her heir apparent; Karl Lagerfeld be damned apparently.

I have a feel
Erin Tuzuner
Jan 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
The hyperbolic prose, the ridiculous name dropping and the attention span of teenager did not make for an engaging story. This feels like a Sex and the City parable relayed by a terrifyingly seasoned relative.
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I had no idea who Vicky Tiel was when I picked this up. I like dresses. I missed the sub-title that explains that the book was also about sex. This is not hyperbole to sell books. Ms. Tiel came of age during the 70s and was unencumbered by any sort of sexual restraint.

Turns out that Vicky Tiel designed the Pretty Woman dress. Her work was also popular on shoes like Dynasty and Dallas. Tons of draping and pleats but with equal amounts of structure. Not a look that remains very popular but it has
Rachel Swords
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book based on the title from my local library, having never heard of Vicky Tiel (I don't follow fashion at all). Having now finished this read, lemme just say "It's All about the Dress" is one of the most fun books I've read in a while. The book is written in a style that makes you feel like you're sitting down and having one big juicy gossip session with Ms. Tiel. And it is definitely full of gossip. Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Jane Fonda, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, and ...more
Stephanie Smith
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This woman has done EVERYTHING and gone EVERYWHERE. She gives a lengthy insight into Elizabeth Taylor and I admire Elizabeth Taylor so much now. She gives great recipes, advice and funny stories. This book is GREAT.
I am surprised that Sophia Loren didn't sue Vicky Tiel for defamation of character. On page 4, it reads: "I tried to console him by explaining that Sophia had an inglorious reputation as the 'Goddess of Love'. He was not the first man to fall under her spell. Every actor she worked with (most notably Cary Grant) was seduced and then discarded. She never left her husband." Before reading this memoir, I was aware that Sophia Loren had had a dalliance with Cary Grant but not EVERY actor she worked ...more
This book was a lot of fun and very engaging if you're interested in fashion, celebrities and/or the 60s and 70s. I'm interested in all of them. Some of the observations the author made about celebrities she interacted with seemed very honest and on point. However, there were a number of mistakes which led me to question the authenticity of the author's stories as well as the professionalism of her editor. For example, Elizabeth Taylor's mother's name was Sara, not whatever she called her in the ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this nonfiction book about a clothes designer very interesting as each chapter was dedicated to a part of her life, a piece of fashion that was relevant, something she had created, and life's experiences. Chapters move quickly, and I found the anecdotes like taking a vacation to other places. The author's friendship with some famous actors did have a positive impact on her life, but you can see that the author's motivation and creativity carried her far.
Jo Anne
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The title of this book should really be: It's All About Taking Off the Dress in Order to Have Sex with Movie Stars.

Not sure why I picked up this book--I'm not into fashion--but I'm glad I did. Vicky Tiel is a fashion designer who started in the 1960s. She claims to have invented the mini skirt and hot pants; English designer Mary Quant says SHE did and Wikipedia says something else. Tiel DID create the red dress Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman.

The book is really a tell-all about all the famou
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
As much as I disliked "Devil Wears Prada," I cannot explain what made me pick up this book next. Fact is, I never heard of Vicky Tiel, but she invented the mini dress among other things. A delight from start to finish, Tiel takes us on a journey from Greenwich Village in the midsixties when she nearly flunked out of Pratt School of Design to owning her own boutique in Paris by age 19. By 23, she is dressing Elizabeth Taylor, Ursula Andress, Sophia Loren, and Raquel Welch; and was giving then unh ...more
I was close to giving this book 3 stars, but I gave it an extra 4th star, mainly because you have to admire Vicky Tiel's pluck. I found some of her life lessons to resonate with my own experience. I love her confidence and her acceptance of life, her joie de vivre. She is a big name dropper and gossiper, but that's part of the fun of reading this book! If you are interested in Liz Taylor, you definitely have to read this book. Liz created the "entourage", with the makeup artist, the clothing des ...more
Lisa Marie
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
The first half up to the photos section of this book was really very good and kept my interest big time. Once I got into the second half after the photos section, it just lost my interest and it was a slog to get to the end - I kept hoping, from enjoying the first half of the book so much, that it would get better but something seemed lacking. Much of the second half was "chapters" that were a paragraph or a page and half of "whatever" and just like someone telling you a story in pieces of "oh y ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Terrifically fun read about the life and times of fashion designer Vicky Tiel. Her autobiography is an absolute hoot which you won't want to put down. She recounts her life with such zest that you feel like you are with her while she travels the world.

If you like gossipy stories about old movie stars like I do (Liz and Dick!), check out this book. She also offers words of advice on love, life, and food. It's like hanging out with your fabulous, rich aunt who always entertains.
Claire Hatch
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's All About the Dress is just a kick in the pants. Tiel has a very engaging, upbeat personality. She's always up for an adventure and happened to graduate from fashion school just as the 60's mod revolution was heating up.

She's a great storyteller and even if you don't especially enjoy celebrity gossip, you'll probably be intrigued by her tales.

If you have even a passing interest in fashion, travel, the movies or the social history of the '60's, this book makes a great escape read.
The content was interesting, sometimes. The writing style I just could not get used to. For the most part the book follows a time line, but then there are random jumps that spin you around a bit. The little inserts were a cute idea and seem to fit the personality of Ms. Tile that comes out in the writing. Would not recommend to everyone, but if someone follows movies or fashion this is probably an interesting book to add to your bookshelves.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Celebrity autobiography about Vicky Tiel, as fashion designer who came of age in the 60s. She claims to have invented the miniskirt. But she's also very interested in name-dropping and telling us how important it is to give men what they want (i.e., sex, which she details with delight). Not interested.
Allison Boyd
Jan 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I own a dress designed by this author, (gold, sparkly, right up my alley) so I was really interested in her memoirs, and there is a lot of fun stuff in here, and she hung with some very famous people doing fabulous things, but it was a bit off for me and I was saddened to realize I didn't like it as much as I thought it would. Still love the dress, though.
Catherine Adde
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Funny. Naughty. Full of celebrity gossip, life during the swinging 1960's and a little history of the fashion industry in Paris thrown in. The author claims to be the inventor of the mini-skirt and this tell all memoir also includes recipes from the movie stars she 'dressed': example: Liz Taylor's "Caviar Sandwich".
Becky Shaknovich
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
This reads like a vintage celebrity gossip mag. Name dropping, bougie decadence, and how-to-please your man type stuff. Still, I read the whole thing. What can I say, I like fashion. I got some good recipes out of it, too... Not that I will ever be able to afford to make Elizabeth Taylor's caviar sandwiches.

May 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paris, show-biz, fashion
Picked this up because I knew someone who went from being an au pair to working for Vicky Tiel in Paris during the 1970s. Beth didn't get a mention but I got the scoop on the Burtons. Recommended as a light beach read.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
"Better to earn your own money and pay for all your own shoes. Better yet, buy the car you want, the home you want. Don't ever ask or beg. Men hate women who beg for shoes. They can confuse a wife with a prostitute."
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, fashion
A frothy memoir by designer Vicky Tiel about her career in the fashion industry in Paris - I really wanted to love it but the name-dropping got old. Still fun to read about her decades-long friendship with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton among others though....
Michelle Richter
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fun, frothy read from a true character
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
AAn intriguing and spunky memoir that also captures another side of the fashion industry and the lives of celebrities.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Crazy and dishy - I loved trying on Vicky Tiel's exotic life!
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
If I get married again, I'm wearing Vicky's "Torrid" dress (Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Jill Biden at Presidential ball) from Bergdorf's.
Merrill Frazier
So far, I am enjoying it. Paris, the 60s and high fashion!
Danie P.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Name dropping, fashion during the 60's, 70's and 80's made this book a fairly easy read. The actual writing could have used some work as it feels stilted and jumps around in time quite a bit.
Donna Nickerson
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book...kinda rowdy....a coming of age book.
Charlotte Dauphin
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a fun book I got for Christmas. I liked hearing her crazy stories about rich and famous people in the sixties.
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