Default- Home- helping you + your biz get out there
  • The Personal Style of Legendary Authors and The Clothes They Wore with Terry Newman [7 Days to Amazing Podcast]

    Podcast Thumbnail Terry Newman cover version

    The personal style behind the words of legendary authors…

    I don’t know about you but I find true personal style so fascinating. Not necessarily from a fashion point of view but as an extension of the soul of the person and how it plays with their being. The intrigue of the style message speaks as loudly as the written message, and it is magnified when it is echoed through some of our favorite authors.

    On this week’s episode of the 7 Days to Amazing Podcast, we take a look into the lives of some of the most legendary authors in history and examine how their way of life, personal styles and ways of dressing had an impact on their works of literature.Terry Newman, author of Legendary Authors And The Clothes They Wore, joins me to discuss her book and make connections between authors and their signature personal style, history, and being.    Every author tells a story and each story is shaped by their own individual “signature.”

    If you are a work from home entrepreneur or writer, think about the correlation of how what you wear when no one really “sees” you reflects the way you spend your day.

    Listen in and enjoy this fascinating interview as we discover the style behind the words!

    It’s time to tune in…

         

    Want more cool stuff to help you be the best at being you?

    Hop over here and claim your free Star Power Flash Kit to help you and your business get out there so you can create a personal brand that attracts high-level clients and opportunities.

    Social Shares…

    More Social Shares Below Transcript

    Guest Resources…

    Available on Amazon by clicking here:
    Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore – Terry Newman

     Raw Episode Transcription…

    Announcer:

    Welcome to the Seven Days to Amazing Podcast where you learn how to make your life, business and style even more amazing in the next week! Now your host, Sharon Haver of FocusOnStyle.com.

    Helping you live the life that others only dream about, so you can be the best at being you.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Hello chicsters, I am Sharon Haver and you are about to be amazed on today’s episode of 7 Days To Amazing. So, today’s guest is super special and it’s so many different ways, because we are going to be talking about our favorite authors and heroines and heroes in literature. But besides just authors, the way the internet has changed right now, the way our lives have changed right now, so many of us are bloggers, are writers, are in our own little writing creative cape. And if you are doing your schedules by chunking and maybe one day is the day you are creating content and another day is the day you are doing communication, on those content days, the communication days, when you are really in your own little universe, so many times, so often we just forget about what we wear because no one sees us. So today’s guest is really important because she’s going to prove how the power of what you wear really affects the words of what you do what you do and your whole persona and the narrative of how you write and the stories you create whether it be your blog post, your website copy or writing your first book or you are doing your social media updates, whatever it is when you are in your writing cape, how what you wear is so important.

    So Terry Newman is the author of Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore, it’s a rich collection that features icons of literature and sartorial stories and what they tell. It’s first rate writers that have a sense of style not only on the page but in their personal appearances, from Virginia Woolf, Susan Sontag, who is personally one of my favorites, particularly in college, and Truman Capote, another one of my favorites, to Toni Morrison, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Joan Didion, each entry spotlights an author’s signature look and how it influences the fashion and literary world today. Lovers of literature get a glimpse into their favorite writer’s wardrobes and by extension their psyches. Terry offers an intimate examination of the icons who continue to inspire and influence us in a book that is so smart, stylist and astute.

    Besides being the author of Legendary Authors, Terry has worked in the fashion industry for more than 25 years, both as an editor for i-D, Attitude, and Self Service and a writer/contributor to newspapers such as the Guardian, Independent, the Saturday and Sunday Times. She’s also written and presented fashion programs in the United Kingdom for Channel Four where she did “She’s Gotta Have It and Slave”. A contributor to books such as i-D’s Fashion Now, Fashion Now 2, and the Soul i-D, she currently lectures at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom, England. Terry lives in London with her husband and two children. Welcome Terry Newman, thrilled to have you here today. I am in New York, Terry is in London, it is a wonderful day wherever you are. Welcome!

     

    Terry Newman:

    Thank you so much Sharon. Lovely to speak to you.

    Sharon Haver:

    Lovely to speak to you too. I am really excited about this. We were chatting a little bit before we hit the recording button and I am just so excited, we had so much good stuff that I had to say to Terry, let’s just put it on for the real people, let everybody hear besides us and get privy to our conversation, because I find this to be so fascinating. Before we get into the [inaudible 00:04:00] of the book, can you just give us a little idea of where I kind of read your bio before and how you came to be in finding this love of authors and the want for creating Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore?

    Terry Newman:

    Well, to me it was a very natural topic to start to write about, because I’ve only ever really been interested in two things, and that’s books and clothes. When I was growing up, I read voraciously and I really enjoyed reading, but to me the authors were almost as interesting as the books I was reading. I was very seduced at a young age by the kind of stories of the authors themselves, and then obviously being really interested in fashion and clothes as well. Putting the two together made complete sense. So that was the premise that was the motivation behind writing the book. It all came together brilliantly I think. The instinct was there from a young age, and then finally I got to write it now. So yeah, it was a real joy actually.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah, I think when I first got the email about the book, I was just so excited because I thought it’s such a fascinating topic that people often don’t think about. If you are reading Dorothy Parker, she didn’t think about what she wore or how [inaudible 00:05:23] or Truman Capote, I mean, his look was so precise. But then when you think about it even further, Susan Sontag and her big light streak of hair, as I said in the opening, Oh god I think when I was coming of age I devoured every Susan Sontag book ever. It’s just [inaudible 00:05:41] fascinated of the looks. Even if someone like Allen Ginsberg and his dirty, hippy, scruffy beard and glasses and jeans and it’s…

    read more

    Terry Newman:

    It’s their persona. It’s who they are.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah, absolutely.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Exactly and that’s such a strong part of who they are, and it really translates into their writing as well. It kind of reflects. It’s like a mirror of the kind of narrative that they put on the page. It’s a real looking at the clothes of the writer as well as their writing, just get little bit closer to your literary heroes I think, and [inaudible 00:06:21] just a bit more exciting what you put on obviously speaks volumes about who you are. And so, naturally that’s the same for legendary authors as well.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Absolutely. The thing is also, what I was saying before, with so many people who are now, there’s legendary authors and then there’s writers and people who write. I used to have my column on Newswire, so I have a little ink in my blood and I get excited about that. But it’s interesting for me it’s like when you are writing online now and you are writing on a blog, everything you would do as an author or as a columnist or a journalist was much more pristine and precise in your grammar and your typos and now with the internet what’s happened is people have gotten a little sloppy in their writing because it’s the immediacy of it all. So it’s got to go out there, so even though you always grammar-check it and spell-check it 500 times, there’s typos from keyboards and if you are writing on your phone and people don’t have the same, I don’t want to say value, but I can’t think of another word right now, as to what they are doing and how they are writing. And I think some of that actually affects their entire look and back to their persona and how they carry themselves because of the immediacy and you can almost say sloppiness of the way internet writing is done, people transform it in their own personal dress. But what we were talking about before was when we are writing and we are alone in our writing caves, how important what we wear shapes and you were saying some really interesting stuff about not saving the good clothes and making the effort.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Well, absolutely, I think that most of us have got underused outfits in our wardrobe but we got to save the best. But every day it should be best. I think that what you wear really affects your psyche. So putting on something gorgeous that means something to you, that you just feel really comfortable and happier and will make the day go back so that will enable your writing more better, it just focuses you a little bit more. If you are feeling a bit sloppy and running around the house in a pair of track pants, then maybe that is going to affect your writing. But going back to what you were saying about the world of internet content, I think that what you read is as important as what you wear. And I think that there’s a lot of room to read much more today because there are so many gorgeous things out there on the internet that you can read. But, one of the purposes of my book as well was to shine a spotlight on all these authors and to just maybe encourage people to look at them again, because their writing is amazing and they are heroes of literature. So going back to look at what these amazing writers did and how they crafted their words maybe as well as what they wore are both equally an inspiration. So I think you can’t [inaudible 00:09:32] door on the internet obviously, but I think that maybe people are kind of galloping away with it too much, and maybe they can go back and lead through a Sylvia Plath novel or Simone de Beauvoir book and just kind of reevaluate the parameters of maybe I wouldn’t say quality control but reading these really great writers, maybe it’s quite inspiring as well for people who provide content and stuff. Maybe that’s being getting on my high horse a little bit.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    No, no, no, and on another end one of the things is like meeting your old friends. So maybe not Simone but how about Jacqueline Suzanne. I am looking at this picture, I grew…

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    That’s amazing.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    I love Jacqueline Suzanne and Valley of the Dolls. One of my favorite books was one of the first ones my mother ever read to me was Every Night, Josephine! which was about Jacqueline Suzanne and her little great poodle Josephine. And I still have that book on my bookshelf and I had a little great poodle named Jack at the time. So he was my first poodle. So it was the bond, but I am looking at my mother actually and back in those days looked like Jacqueline Suzanne, she had black hair and it was like, I don’t know, big. Like her, she’s had big puffy 60s page [inaudible 00:10:56].

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    What’s so fascinating is she’s sitting on the floor and this book has these beautiful photos and I am very tactile with paper. There’s a picture of… Is that Josephine? Oh yes, it is Josephine. She’s walking around in Central Park. It looks like a [inaudible 00:11:14] Safari jacket.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Safari suit yeah, exactly.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    With big bush pockets. Anyway, so the book, there’s something about the paper. I mean, I am crazy with fonts and typeface and paper and it just feels so good, it’s such a rich quality and it’s a matte finish and there’s just something, I don’t know, very literary and classy and you kind of want to get into it.

     

    Terry Newman:

    It’s like something to keep, isn’t it? So it’s something to keep hold of.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, it’s wonderful. But this picture of Jacqueline Suzanne… So people who are way younger than me and don’t know, she started writing, she had this first book, Every Night, Josephine! and her husband, Irving I think, he was a talent agent, he was a big deal in showbiz. And she just started writing this book about her dog and then after that her poodle. After that she wrote Valley of the Dolls which was at the time pretty controversial and risqué. She was like, oh my god why am I blanking out on her, I love her, the woman who just passed away, Jackie Collins, she was like Jackie…

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Jackie Collins yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah I met Jackie Collins right before she passed away and she was quite [inaudible 00:12:27] she was really a lot of fun to be hanging out with. Anyway, Jacqueline Suzanne was the precursor to Jackie Collins. They both had that big brunette hair and ballsy personality. But here she’s sitting in her office I guess and she’s on the floor in a little Pucci mini skirt with probably Gucci chunky heeled loafers and her big hair and eyelashes, big picture of her typewriter, and she’s on a chalk book writing out the character Robin Stone who was one of the lead characters in her book, and putting out words for him, and it’s just different, I guess, it’s sort of like almost a brain dump, mind map of the character’s journey. I find this so fascinating because here she is looking all glam and writing…

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    I think the handwriting, yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah, about this crazy glam life, so she’s living it.

     

    Terry Newman:

    I mean, I love Jacqueline Suzanne, she’s absolutely one of my all time favorites in the book, and you know the thing about her is that although people might say, well, why is she in the vogue, because she was this kind of writer who maybe was slightly different to some of the others. But I think she broke new grounds, she started…

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Absolutely.

     

    Terry Newman:

    In a very different way than some people were used to. She’s very empowering in so many ways, plus she’s a great role model, she worked hard at what she did, she was always camera ready, she was engaging with the audience in a 360 degrees way that is very modern. And I think there’s loads and loads of things to love about Jacqueline Suzanne as well as her books. And as you said, the fact that she didn’t have a stylist, she was wearing [inaudible 00:14:11] when she was working on her mind map for her characters. And I just find her endlessly fascinating and I was absolutely certain that she was going to be one of the top authors in my book, because I just love her very much indeed. I think she’s great.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Someone might say she wasn’t writing time capsule worthy prose, but she was, and it might have been a trashy novel at the time but it was a groundbreaking trashy novel that made way for everything that she was the original real housewife almost.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Let’s [inaudible 00:14:50] she sold masses [inaudible 00:14:53] of her novel. So that to me is huge success as well. And she did it with style and grace and all the things that you’d hope for yourself. I think she’s amazing yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    I think it’s incredible. Also you were saying, we are talking before we were recording about, [inaudible 00:15:14] such an amazing thing is that this is before stylist, [inaudible 00:15:17] for 15 years. And I really believe like I’ve created a program called the C’est Chic Crash Course which teaches you how to be your own best stylist. I think the whole idea of somebody being hired to dress you every day is ridiculous. It’s just like you lose your sense of soul, you lose your sense of authenticity, it’s just like it’s unrealistic, it’s somebody dopey fairytale. We should all be able to figure out on our own what our own best style is to dress ourselves, to find our way and be guided into that journey if that’s not something that’s innate to us, to find out what it is, because it’s our soul. So if I take you to, I don’t know, Harris or Nordstrom or whatever big store and put you in a room with five people, yeah, they could dress you up, like what happens when you are on your own. You are only doing cookie cutter and these people were not cookie cutters, these were real, these were authentic goals.

     

    Terry Newman:

    That’s very much part of the book. You absolutely hit the nail on the head because part of the book is about having courage to where what you like regardless of what other people think of you, regardless of what’s in fashion, if you like it you should wear it and you should feel happy wearing it. If it makes you happy, if it makes you feel great, you should wear it, and there’s this amazing quote in the Virginia Woolf section, one of the editors from Vogue at the time and there’s a quote from her saying, when she first caught sight of Virginia Woolf reading and she was wearing what she thought looked like a waste paper basket on her head. And the idea is that actually so what? She was wearing a hat and Virginia Woolf was wearing a hat but she loved and yes possibly it did look a bit extraordinary, but you may want [inaudible 00:17:16] some kind of gorgeous person was wearing a hat that looked a bit like a waste paper basket on the head and wore it with confidence [inaudible 00:17:23] next day and every day will be wearing one. So I just think, you know what, just feel empowered, I hope when people look at all these characters and see all the diverse range of gorgeous clothes and different styles and how strong and wonderful they look, that they will feel, you know what, I want to wear this and I am going to wear it. And I think that that would take away, you know enjoy fashion, love what all the designers do, but maybe, as you say, be true to yourself, and wear what you want, because that’s what you should do, because that’s more important than anything else. Not feeling afraid to express to [inaudible 00:18:03] in any way that you want.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Absolutely. And that’s what gives you the confidence, and look at in pop cultures, since we are talking about Jacqueline Suzanne we could bring a little pop culture, and then I want to talk about Sylvia Plath a bit, but look at the first time [inaudible 00:18:17] walked out in that sheer sequent jumpsuit, the new jumpsuit with all the beating on it, and everyone was like, “Oh my god, how risqué,” sure but she made her mark. Yeah, okay, she worked with Bob Machion but it was her and people are like, “Oh she can’t wait to share her worst dress.” I think [inaudible 00:18:34] was the most dress because it was her soul, she was crazy, she was groundbreaking. And then you have now every time there’s like an event, especially the Costume Institute here, you’ve got Kim Kardashian, you’ve got Beyonce, you’ve got all these other girls, all these other [inaudible 00:18:49] running around in nude outfits and going, “Oh it’s my homage to share with,” and it’s like, “No, now you look like a copycat.” Be real. And I think that’s what this book is and people being real, and this is I think what is one of the biggest lost parts of society is that you can wear a T-Shirt and a skirt and look really cool in an old photo, and really if you are just wearing it the right way and you are taking pride in how you are putting it together. So there’s a party of that Sylvia Plath and I find that if you want to talk a little bit about how she had one image in her clothing and it was completely the opposite of what was going on in her psyche. And this chapter is really fascinating, so you just want to tell us a little bit about it.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Well, Sylvia Plath is obviously one of the most amazing authors. She obviously had a very tragic life as well because she ended up killing herself, because of a lifelong depressive illness that she suffered from. And I think that torment and anguish which translates to the written word, her poems for example, were very intense and very internalized, and I think her way of dealing with things seemed to me with all the research I did, when you look at pictures of Sylvia Plath, she looked very pretty when she was younger, very put together and stylist. When she was slightly older in a very contained, almost overly…

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Fluffy.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Exactly. She was trying to keep it together if you like. So by kind of protecting, using clothes as a protective shield, putting on her lipstick, putting on a gorgeous, well ironed blouse and a cheerful skirt, it was her way of shielding what was going on inside. Obviously, it was very much reflective of the fashion that was going on at the time in the world, that kind of crappy gorgeous, very cute upbeat look, which is really at odds with what we know about her as a person. I found that so fascinating because she used clothes as a way of clinging on, trying to make herself feel better, trying to present to the world the person that she wanted to be, but sadly wasn’t because of her illness, and so that I found really, really interesting and actually really fascinating as well. Obviously, it’s a real tragedy but when you look at her, she looks amazing, she looks like an American dream and she looks gorgeous.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah, she looks like she could be the next Ralph Lauren model.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Exactly, absolutely, a complete role model. But all this kind of pain underneath, sort of hidden away. And that is also very interesting because people do that. Sometimes, in the morning, you might come saying, “I am feeling a bit kind of Monday morning.” Putting on something, it can kind of shake you down a little bit if you put your best foot forward, you put on your game face, you put on something that makes you feel a little bit brighter. I think that’s what Sylvia Plath did actually. She put on these things, put on these clothes these gorgeous, lovely, upbeat 1950s preppy coats to try and face the world in the best way that she could, and I think that’s really, really interesting.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    I think it’s fascinating and it’s awful, it’s another thing you think of which I don’t know as a stylist or whatever back in my old stylist days, it will never leave me but you really judge people when someone is just so perfectly put together, and someone has every little detail in place, and it’s precise and overly thought out, and incredibly intentional. I look at it and say, “Okay, what is that covering up?” It’s like what is that holding, because no one is that perfect at all times. We all have little flubs in our life, in our personality and if everything is just so calculated in our appearance, I mean I am not saying people are very calculated in different ways, but if you come off in a little offhanded way…

     

    Terry Newman:

    It’s very effective and it’s very controlling.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Very controlling, yeah.

     

    Terry Newman:

    It’s reflective of your character again.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, totally it’s an armor.

     

    Terry Newman:

    And you can read that. Obviously, your work as a stylist, you see those nuances of people’s [inaudible 00:23:38] but it is there to be seen, if you take the time to look a little bit closer, clothes betray a lot about how you feel and the kind of person that you are, and that’s exactly right with Sylvia Plath as well.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah, I find it odd. I look at this, as I am talking to you, I am just flipping around in here and I am like, “Oh my god, this is so fascinating, this is so fascinating.” Let’s talk about Joan Didion for a minute because she has this very offhanded, always chic look to me.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Yeah. I think it’s kind of like sort of almost a Parisian chic meets a Californian and there’s always been this kind of “it girl” of a moment in time and I am sure she would hate me to say something like that, but it’s really true, she looks spot-on for every eventuality almost. I mean, my cover obviously is the amazing photograph by Julian Wasser and it’s of Joan Didion in front of her Stingray Corvette, and it’s such a classic photograph.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    It’s so cool.

     

    Terry Newman:

    It’s so cool. I mean, you could wear that and this was said to me today, “I want that dress, I want that dress.”

     

    Sharon Haver:

    It’s not the dress, it’s the attitude, it’s totally

     

    Terry Newman:

    The attitudes, exactly. It’s the way she wears it, because it’s quite a simple dress, it’s just her look, her demeanor, her hair, her casually sort of slightly un-brushed hair, but it’s what you said before, it’s just having that confidence to be who she is and she said, she just slipped on the dress and she was just standing there in a pair of flip-flops actually. There’s no other kind of polish to what she’s got on. And she looks incredibly laidback, very effortlessly cool and I think that’s the key to Joan Didion’s amazing look. It just seems quite effortless, doesn’t it?

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Yeah, I know, it’s amazing and she’s also leaning on the cover on a Stingray. So there’s a [inaudible 00:25:45] on that car. It’s not like she’s in an old Buick.

     

    Terry Newman:

    No, exactly.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Let’s talk about Colette for a minute, I mean, another author that so many of us grew up with, another coming of age kind of author for so many women. This look of her sitting here in the men’s suit with a cold rimmed eyes and even though she wrote that very romantic, feminine literature, just her look was quite different.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Yeah, absolutely. And she was such a bold and sort of wonderful character that she was very strong, and very sassy and she did exactly what she likes and I think she really enjoy dressing up. So she kind of had this sort of whole [inaudible 00:26:27] when she was younger, she had the [inaudible 00:26:31] just wearing sort of sailor girl dress with very long, long, long pigtails but always have this sultriness behind her. When she went on the stage and she would be wrapped in tiger skins or when she was slightly older, wearing the sort of androgynous sort of men’s suiting. She always had the [inaudible 00:26:51] of the sultry cold rimmed eyes as you said. And that kind of enigmatic, gorgeous, exoticness of Colette but so seductive and until she died that was her look, and she wore it brilliantly well, and such an inspiration I think for dressing up and being who you want to be.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Absolutely. I think it’s fascinating and on a more modern look what about Zadie Smith? She just looks so exotic and girl next door at the same time.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Yeah, and you know what, with Zadie, I think that she is the absolute ideal of what you would think, with that kind of relaxed, just sort of [inaudible 00:27:43] look, you know she shall pick and mix designers, she would wear a turban, she would put a follower in her hair, she would wear designers, she would wear [inaudible 00:27:51] and she just puts it together in this real cut and paste modern way but very, very seductive, that’s really interesting. She’s her own stylist and she’s a real modern manifestation of what fashion can really be I think, and she’s increasingly beautiful as well.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    She’s gorgeous. And the other thing is I am going to harshly quote you, and then you can [inaudible 00:28:21] on your own words. So it’s kind of, I think the crux of what we are talking about here is you have a line in your book where you say, authenticity is crucial to longevity and it goes on further but let’s just talk about that for a minute on authenticity being crucial to longevity and that really is what keeps so many of these photos timeless.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s just the idea that actually there’s a quote from Quentin Crisp in there, he says the thing about life is you got to find out who you are, and once you found out who you are, you can be that person as much as you can, just keep being that person. And I think that’s what these people have done. They know who they are. They’ve got a signature style and that’s all pervading. So that means they’ve got an authenticity because they are reflecting who they are, they’ve got a signature style which they’ve kind of nurtured and honed and it feels right for them. So therefore that sort of look and their sartorial choices are kind of very focused and all feed along the same character part. So that is very interesting to me, because it kind of means that you can be who you are and not in and out of fashion, you can just be very modern and just very secure and very happy with things that you like, and not feel that you have to [inaudible 00:29:54] from one thing to another every other season. By all means enjoy fashion because there’s so much to enjoy in fashion, but if you’ve got a thing about long skirts or double breasted jackets or flowers in your hair or [inaudible 00:30:11], but that can be your signature star because that’s what these authors have done. They’ve got their own look and they don’t move away from it, and as a result, we love them for it.

     

    Sharon Haver:

    Absolutely. And I think the other thing is that even though they have these signature styles and some of them have these more eccentric elements to their style, it’s done with finesse. And I think that’s a real problem with style. When you have it you can pull off anything, when you have confidence, when you know how to do it, you can bluff and pull off anything, and that comes down to being able to finesse it. And when you don’t, you end up looking like the crazy cat lady. So I think what happens is that that’s when someone needs to actually work with someone or what I teach the people and say she crashed, to see, to open their eye, it’s almost like if it’s food it’s opening your palate, in this case it’s opening up your eye to see how you can finesse it. So you can go from being like outrageously fabulous and beautiful and timeless to the crazy cat lady. And sometimes it’s just a little bit, a little tweak that takes you from one to the other. But the thing that really holds it together is just like on the cover of this book, it’s the pasture, it’s the poise, it’s the demeanor, it’s the confidence, it’s the body language that holds it off, and it fits well. That’s another thing, it fits well. You can wear anything as long as it looks good on you. So that I think is so important here. I wonder, before we get close to the end here, just talk about another thing that we haven’t really brought up that much. It’s the rich narrative of how these writers in their writing describe close and how that opens up our eyes and helps us really envision their words by seeing the character and how they describe what the character is wearing.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Yeah, absolutely. And the thing is sometimes people might think, well, clothes are very superficial and not particularly interesting and it’s very a secondary thing in life. But the fact is that all of these authors have sort of taken clothes in one way or another and used them as a prism in their work and taken the idea of clothes seriously and how they can reflect and enrich their readers’ understanding of the character if you like through the description of their clothes. First off, possibly this isn’t going to work kind of completely throughout all of these authors, but what I found was that if all of them did and I suppose the most famous example is Proust. And he’s obviously one of the sort of key modern writers who sort of broke new ground in writing. But the way that he meditated almost on clothes is so illuminating and it’s such a real insight into the consciousness of how people think and how people observe and also what’s obviously really exciting is that he describes in great detail for teeny girl…

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    I am reading that line right now, the for teeny girl was wearing, yeah, and people don’t know for teeny, it was a [inaudible 00:33:41] at the time, but those were beautifully pleated tiny little knife pleated dresses.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    A bit like the [inaudible 00:33:49] pleats that you can buy now. They were very progressive at the time. So [inaudible 00:33:55] absolute sort of edge of fashion, the sort of majorly, those kind of forward thinking, kind of fashion of the time if you like, when women were wearing gorgeous [inaudible 00:34:06] hats and changing their clothes two or three times a day, certainly with a mix kind of period of, bit class of person who Proust writes about so eloquently. In Search of Lost Time is an amazing example of that and obviously people like great, wonderful designers like [inaudible 00:34:28] who’s a very fashionable author because of that very reason if you like. So I thought that was obviously really, really exciting, but all the writers I looked at, there was something to say. So even with straightaway Samuel Beckett who was at the beginning, “We are waiting for Godot” it’s all about…

     

    Sharon Haver:

    His wild beast.

     

    Terry Newman:

    Yes, he called it but Waiting for Godot, he can’t think without his hat or the consciousness of man is in his boots, which is all quite hysterically funny. Actually, I think that’s one of the things that Beckett. He’s very amusing as well. But also then you’ve got James Joyce and he writes in Ulysses at great lengths about what in a creepy awful way, in a very interesting way about the kind of colors of women’s underwear, and it’s a real focus on the characters that he’s talking about, the sort of fine details of women’s underwear for example or the clothes, some of the are dirty, for example, words, and he [inaudible 00:35:45] fashion play and describes in great length her clothes. So you’ve kind of got that but also there’s so many ways that an author looks at clothes. So with Donna Tartt for example in her book, The Secret History, it’s her writing, she talks about in the Secret History, it’s about this group of students at an elite college and how clothes can kind of make you fit in or make you feel ostracized a little bit and delineate your class. And all of these things kind of fed into the way she talks about the clothes of the students in this college, and so that’s really, really interesting as well. But all throughout the novel, there’s so much to say that I kind of [inaudible 00:36:40] we could have another long conversation about that. With Tom Wolfe for example he’s a prime example of a writer that looks in the value of clothes to a really sort of interesting extent in Bonfire of the Vanities for example, there’s this sort of focus on the 80s and the kind of high powered [inaudible 00:37:05] clothing that…

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    And his wife did mast.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Exactly. The mast is [inaudible 00:37:11] as he writes about and that kind of uptown chic if you like, but then looking at Tom Wolfe and the way he dressed with his wife too, it’s all really, really tied together I think.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, I remember the great detail and I guess it was Bonfire of the Vanities of describing, it was a party theme that somebody was wearing and you are just like pardon the expression but it was almost like they were describing Ivana Trump at the time.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Yeah. It’s off the label, and the same with Bret Easton Ellis and that kind of amazing book that he wrote, American Psycho, it’s almost too much obsessive sort of labeling or obsession with labeling, we just delve deep into the kind of world of the 80s when labels were king if you like, but also sort of reflects this monstrous character of his serial killer that he writes about in American Psycho. It just all sort of feeds into each other I think.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, I have a good story about that, which we will save for when we are not being recorded. It’s interesting, American Psycho became a Broadway play, a musical and it sounds insane, and it was one of the coolest musicals I’ve ever seen and it closed. It just didn’t take off and it was really well-done, I think it was last year or the year before that it was on.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Really?

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, it was just crazy and we went to see it and it wasn’t like the regular corny musical that they have on Broadway, it was really out there and beautifully done and stylized the clothes and everything about the character and it was just so stylized and beautiful. The other person in here and I kind of want to close, because we are almost running out of time, is also Patti Smith, because Patti Smith, she was a poet, so there, she’s a writer, and she has such a specific style and it comes across so strongly. If you read her book, you walk away with almost the tapestry of the white shirt and the black jacket and where she got this. It’s part of her, it’s part of her character, it’s part of her soul.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Yeah, absolutely. And the thing about consciousness is again, it’s just the only tier of authenticity coming back into it. She talks about in her memoir, Just Kids, about growing up in Philadelphia and not feeling like she was the same as everyone else. She had long hair and she’s sort of like tall and flat-chested and she didn’t want to wear a beehive and she sort of wore jeans and she was very androgynous, and she didn’t feel like she was fitting in. And then she kind of moved to New York and suddenly she felt like she would go home. She met Robert Mapplethorpe, she found kindred spirits and she kind of could be the person who she always have been but everyone accepted her for that. She’s always been this kind of floating, gorgeous, ethereal, stylized being, poet, artist, writer, musician. And it’s kind of even reading her memoir, you get the feeling that it took time to sort of feel comfortable being the person that she was. But she didn’t try to change, she carried on being the person that she was, but the rest of the world caught up if you like to…

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah. And that’s I think the most important thing. That’s such an interesting point, the rest of the world caught up to their style.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Yeah, absolutely. And so you just think now that’s why you look back at the amazing pictures of her in the mid 70s on the cover of her albums and so that looks modern, it looks so right, but yeah, that’s 14 years ago.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    She looked modern at the time, yeah.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    It’s a long time ago, but it still looks relevant and modern and inspirational today. It looks right. You could walk out looking like Patti Smith and people would turn their heads and think, “Well, that’s a cool look.”

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    It was cool then and it’s cool now. And that’s what having a signature style is all about, finding something that speaks volumes about you, that is you, that you feel comfortable in and that you are not going to sell out to anybody for. It’s just right for you, so you keep going with it.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, you will never be cool if you are trying to be a copycat or have someone dress you, that’s for sure.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Exactly.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    You will never be cool. And I always say there’s always a fine line between being cool and chic and it’s different times of our life where we want to be cool and we want to be chic, but the thing that’s interesting is anyone can kind of learn how to be chic. You can sort of figure that out. But cool, that’s a different thing. And I know now when I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and I am like it probably took me a long time to figure it out, cool is really relative. To some people I am just cool growing up. To other people I was like “Whoa, she was not.” To my kid, I am like, “Oh god, mom.” But it was downtown upbringing, and I think that what happens is as people grow older, if you weren’t cool then, you can’t… that’s one of the few things, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and that’s being cool. And part of it is coming from having the release at a certain age to open up your eyes to say, “This is me and I am going with it.” And not being so contained and nervous and copycatting or ignoring yourself but loving yourself in whatever way kind of floats your boat.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Exactly. Absolutely. You don’t have to try too hard, you just do what feels right for you, and I absolutely agree with that. I think that’s totally right, yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    So, can you leave us… I like everyone to walk away from one of these podcasts, because this is so much information here. I just love this. I want to [inaudible 00:43:14] 10 days. We really have to close this up. Give us a couple of tips or two, three, five, whatever feels right to you, of how someone can make their life more amazing this week and taking the inspiration from the legendary authors and the clothes they wore, which by the way I love the font you have on the cover while I am there, the typewriter font and the…

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Oh great, thank you.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Yeah, san serif, so I am a typeface nut. So give us a few takeaway tips.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    I would suggest that what you can do this week that would be so interesting would be enjoy all the wonderful internet content that’s out there but maybe take a moment to look at legendary authors and read what they wrote and then have a look at their own individual style and how that’s reflected in the characters, their words, because I think that with the pace of life that we are living at the moment, it’s kind of easy to sort of forget to sit down and spend a bit more time on your reading, and I think what you read is as important as what you wear these days, it’s very important. So I would say that would be one thing. Another thing would be I think that one of the points about Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore is that it’s about having a confidence in what you wear and trying to learn how that confidence is so empowering. All of these authors have their own unique signature styles and finding your own unique signature style is going to also be incredibly rewarding. So experiment, play with fashion, find something that speaks to you, that means something to you, and enjoy it, and just enjoy, don’t care what anyone else thinks, just enjoy fashion and be true to yourself. And then you will find that you end up having an authenticity, an originality to the way you look, that’s really, really interesting and very, very charming.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    So Terry Newman. That has been amazing. Can you have people find you online and find ways of getting Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore?

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Well, I think it’s available from loads and loads of brilliant bookshops, it’s available on Amazon for example as well if you want to buy it online, the Harper Collins website I think have also a link to buying it. So it’s everywhere online at the moment, so I think you can certainly go buy it and loads and loads of bookshops have got it as well.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Okay, great. And it’s also going to be on the shelf behind my desk, but you can’t have that. Do you have a website or any place online if someone wants to contact you on social media?

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Well, I am very sort of 20th century but my Instagram is terrynewman101, so I would love it if you contacted me that way, you can direct message me, send me any messages that way or like on, that would be wonderful, yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    Okay, great. Thank you. This is fantastic. I love you so much for being here today. I think that maybe this will encourage people to just pick up a couple of books here and there, maybe revisit some of your old friends, your old friend authors and favorite books and look at it a different way now that you just see the importance of style and fashion and how it plays into their psyche and the narrative of the book and inspires you on what you are going to wear tomorrow or later today, depending on what time of the day it is.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Absolutely, yeah. Take some time out for yourself, sit down with a good book, wear a beautiful dress and enjoy, yeah.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    And enjoy. So thank you so much, and talk to you guys out there real soon. Stay tuned till next week.

     

    Terry Newman:

     

    Thank you Sharon, thank you.

     

    Sharon Haver:

     

    You’re welcome.

     

     

     

    Announcer:

     

    That’s a wrap. Well, not so fast.

     

    We covered a lot of amazing things today. But what’s your biggest takeaway from this episode? Hop on over to www.focusonstyle.com to leave a comment and keep the conversation going. While you are there, be sure to subscribe to become a Focus on style insider. Not only will you get only get instant access to the Star Power Flash kit, curated to help you and your business get out there but as an insider you will also receive exclusive bonuses, amazing content and access to special events that Sharon only shares by email.

     

    Subscribe now at www.focusonstyle.com/insiders.

     

    It’s your time to be the best at being you. So don’t forget to subscribe at www.focusonstyle.com/insiders.

     

    See you on the next episode of the Seven Days to Amazing podcast with Sharon Haver where you learn to make your life, business and style even more amazing in the next week.

    More Social Shares…

    Catch Up On Previous Episodes…

    Would Be Grateful For Your Continued Support

    For more episodes of the 7 Days of Amazing podcast, please go to our library page by clicking here or visit iTunes and subscribe!

    Being a newbie on iTunes, we need your help to get 7 Days to Amazing seen and be heard.

    I would be grateful if you could hop over to iTunes and give it a star rating and/or write a quick review so others can find the episode too.

    Here’s how:

    1) Hop over to iTunes

    2) Click on the “View iTunes” link.

    3) Look for the Ratings + Reviews tab at the top.

    — Give it some Stars!

    — Write a quick Review

    4) Subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

    5) Understand how much I appreciate your support.

    SaveSave

    SaveSave

    , , , , , , , , , ,