Mother and Son Speak: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper

Mother and Son

Mother and Son: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper, via Hollywood Reporter

My mom is the most youthful and optimistic person I know … she still believes that just around the corner there’s going to be some incredible experience – and she makes me believe it as well.” ~ Anderson Cooper, CBS interview

Gloria Vanderbilt and her son Anderson Cooper are telling their story in a new book called, The Rainbow Comes and Goes and an HBO documentary, “Nothing Left Unsaid.” Revealing parts of their lives and peeling away the intimate layers of their relationship via email communications that began a year ago when Ms. Vanderbilt was 91 (she is now 92 years old); it’s a way to make it possible for all of us to reconnect with our own aging parents.

But there is nothing that says ‘age’ about Gloria Vanderbilt. She is forever young, forever vibrant, and forever stylish. This is the famous woman – artist, writer, jeans designer – but what the world thinks it knows about Gloria Vanderbilt is not the same person her son knows – the also well-known, Anderson Cooper. And I have seen a glimpse of Gloria Vanderbilt myself. After reading her Romance Memoir, It Seemed Important at the Time, I wrote to her, telling her how much I enjoyed the book (as I often do when reading autobiographies). When a note came back to me, handwritten by Gloria Vanderbilt herself, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only was her message personal and inspiring, but it was written on a notecard designed by Andy Warhol; I wondered whether Ms. Vanderbilt had known him as well as the other famous men in her life. The note read: “Dear Ms. Guarino, Thank you for your letter about my book. Trust Yourself. Love Yourself. All with be Well.” ~ Gloria Vanderbilt

And when I read The Rainbow Comes and Goes, which I know I will – I plan to write to Gloria Vanderbilt once again. That will certainly be the incredible experience just around the corner for me!

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Television’s secret weapons

 The costume designer Janie Bryant, of "Mad Men," with ads for her line for Hearts on Fire Diamonds and from Banana Republic's "Mad Men" spring 2013 campaign.

The costume designer Janie Bryant, of “Mad Men,” with ads for her line for Hearts on Fire Diamonds and from Banana Republic’s “Mad Men” spring 2013 campaign.                                       Photo Credit: Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

It seems that television’s costume designers are the new black. Well, the new influencers, that is. I was a huge Sex and The City fan, where costume designer Patricia Field’s bold fashion choices for the main characters, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte awakened my senses. And although I couldn’t see myself wearing everything, I was inspired to wear many things. I went through the big flower pin stage, thanks to Carrie. And I never owned a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s but I often thought of buying them! It’s hard to believe that the show ended almost ten years ago when its fashion influence is still felt around the world. Times are changing, television is moving forward and the role of the television costume designer is growing as well.

Thursday’s Style Section of The New York Times ran an interesting piece: “Costume Designers for TV Have a Big Impact on Fashion,” written by Marisa Meltzer. Continue reading

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