I am married to one of those men who is a star when it comes to surprises. I am not talking big surprises… but little ones when you least expect it. What I am saying is that he knows me well… so well… and he is often on the look out for a small gift that I would enjoy. He is also pretty good when it comes to the grand gesture, but in truth it’s his thoughtfulness for no particular reason that I love so much. I will often come home and find a book, sitting on my desk… one that he has read about and found for me… or a magazine… or an article… all sorts of things that he knows would make me smile. He is a voracious reader and spys many fabulous articles about all things French (and all things girly) that I would otherwise miss.
It Isn’t All Mink miraculously appeared on my desk a couple of months ago… It’s not a new read but one first published in 1959, by Ginette Spanier.
” As Directrice of the House of Balmain – Ginette Spanier is at the height of her profession. This book is more than its own uninhibited and highly amusing inside account of the world of Haute Couture. It is the story of the gay and gifted girl, who during the 30’s took a job at Fornum and Masons and there discovered the talent for ‘selling very expensive things to very rich people’: who numbers many of the great names of the stage and cinema amongst her friends: who survived long years of hardship and continuous fear in occupied France.
She has achieved success in an unusual career, carried on in an atmosphere which is an exhilarating mixture of glitter, hysteria and big business and which demands just those qualities which she possesses in such generous measure: a sense of humour, of business ability, showmanship and personality.”
My copy is signed by Ginette Spanier, dated 1974 and includes a letter she wrote to one of her former clients from the House of Balmain. This memoir, with a foreward by Noel Coward, is a special glimpse into a world passed… extraordinary times and extraordinary circumstances… I think you will really love it… xv
For your library
It Isn’t All Mink … here
for European readers… here
and from Alibris International Book Sellers… here