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

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  201 Ratings  ·  42 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 worn today by stars ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by St. Martin's Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Erin Tuzuner
Jan 04, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Good God. I think most fashion designers need a pretty healthy ego to survive the hard knocks of the industry, but the portrait of Vicky Tiel that emerges in this autobiographical/advice for ladies hybrid makes her come off as such a cheerfully demented megalomaniac she makes Karl Lagerfeld himself seem self-effacing and meek in comparison. Tiel is best known for designing 80s women of power evening gowns (the red gown Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman was a Tiel design) and being Elizabeth Tay ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rita Gibson
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of it
Jo Anne
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer Daly
Apr 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Swords
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa Marie
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
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.
Claire Hatch
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Catherine Adde
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
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.

Allison Boyd
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.
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....
Stephanie Smith
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
"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."
This was a fun book I got for Christmas. I liked hearing her crazy stories about rich and famous people in the sixties.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shallow. Really, it's just a lot of name-dropping and brief descriptions of clothing. No reall insight into the decades she covers.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ashley Cancienne
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing-books
Vicky Tiel really knows how to tell a story! It was so funny, sexy and full of advice! She really should write more!
Parts of this were better than others. Vicky's writing can be a bit choppy and and the way she bounded back and forth on her timeline was distracting, but in the end it was an interesting read.
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vicky Tiel gives readers a behind the scene perspective on the fashion world in both New York and Paris. She also has many interesting stories about Elizabeth Taylor, a close personal friend of hers!
Danie P.
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.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow, does this woman love herself and her accomplishments. Lots of name dropping. Kind of fun, kind of annoying, kind of stupid. I felt like quite a bit was b.s.
Tish Willis
Fun, breezy read by a woman who's done and seen it all.
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