THE BOOK: Bonnie Cashin: Chic is Where You Find it

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“I worship at the altar of Bonnie Cashin”
Jonathan Adler, in the Introduction
Author Stephanie Lake discovered Bonnie Cashin while researching vintage fashion for a Sotheby’s catalog, and was shocked to find how little material there was about this seminal contemporary American designer. Through some fortuitous contacts, she came to meet Cashin and they formed one of those rare and immediately deep bonds of people who immediately “click,” so much so that Cashin referred to Lake as her little sister.  For three years, until Cashin’s death, Lake and she met almost weekly and collaborated on, as Lake states, “…my plan to redress historical neglect of her career.”  
The result is a comprehensive survey of Cashin’s innovations and signature designs shown in over 300 images of drawings, photos, garments, and ephemera from Cashin’s personal archives—a collection gifted to Lake.  Lake’s work is an exhilarating, lavishly illustrated look at the quintessential American modernist, acclaimed for her“Auntie Mame” lifestyle, her brazen opinions, her iconoclastic approach to fashion, and her visionary designs for the modern American woman.  


A talented artist who happened to become a fashion designer, Bonnie Cashin was free-spirited and unconventional in all she did. Revered for her intellectual and independent approach to fashion, Cashin changed the way women dressed with her revolutionary, forward-thinking approach by designing chic,functional clothing for the modern woman—women like herself who were relentlessly on the go and defying accepted notions of the era, sharing a belief that practicality and joy in dress were necessary to living a modern, mobile life to the fullest.       

A designer with an exceptional eye for fabric, shape, and finishing details, Cashin is considered a “mother” ofAmerican sportswear and credited with many fashion “firsts” including the concept of layering, andchampioning such timeless shapes as ponchos, tunics, and kimonos. She was the founding designer of Coach when the house was launched in the early 60s, and was arguably the first to design the It Bags of her day—classic handbags of rugged leather and handsome brass hardware that every woman wanted to carry.  
Without question Cashin was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, and is a perennial musefor many contemporary designers. Brimming with the rich evidence spanning seven decades of work, BONNIE CASHIN CHIC IS WHERE YOU FIND IT is the long overdue book celebrating the designer’s life and oeuvre,beautifully written and by a woman who was, and is, a kindred spirit of the irrepressible Bonnie Cashin.  



About the author: Stephanie Lake holds a PhD from Bard Graduate Center, where she wrote her dissertationon Bonnie Cashin. She maintains Cashin’s personal archive and has curated Cashin retrospectives around theglobe. A jewelry designer, Lake’s work has received distinguished industry accolades and editorial attention.Jonathan Adler is a potter, designer, and home decorative arts guru.