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Gary Cooper: Enduring Style

From Gary Cooper: Enduring Style by G. Bruce Boyer and Maria Cooper Janis, published by powerHouse Books
From Gary Cooper: Enduring Style by G. Bruce Boyer and Maria Cooper Janis, published by powerHouse Books

When thinking about men’s fashion in old Hollywood, there are two actors who immediately come to mind: Cary Grant and Gary Cooper. Both had impeccable taste and appreciated high quality, custom tailored clothing, and both had wardrobes inspired by European fashion. Although Grant looked great in everything, he didn’t always look comfortable in more casual attire. This is not the case with Gary Cooper. He somehow made a cowboy hat and jeans look attainable to the every man, yet kept a look of sophistication.

Gary Cooper: Enduring Style is a lovely collection of private family photos showcasing Cooper’s sartorial elegance, beginning from his days in a prestigious private school in England, up to and around the time of his death in 1961. The book is reminiscent of a family album, with one or two photos to a page. Images of Gary and his wife Rocky relaxing poolside, on hunting trips with Clark Gable, and skiing with Ingrid Bergman are all wonderful additions.  The captions are minimal, allowing the photos to speak for themselves.

With a foreward by Ralph Lauren, a brief yet thorough biography by G. Bruce Boyer, and afterward by Cooper’s only child Maria Cooper Janis, Gary Cooper: Enduring Style is a wonderful tribute to a beloved Hollywood icon. I appreciate the artistic quality of the book in the images selected. For the serious Gary Cooper fan,  Enduring Style is a must have.

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Gary Cooper: Enduring Style
ISBN: 9781576875865
PowerHouse Books
November 2011
200 pages

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of Gary Cooper: Enduring Style for review directly from the publisher, powerHouse Books. The book is available for purchase here. I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to review this book.

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Jill Blake

Jill Blake is the owner of the classic film website Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence. She is also a co-founder and editor of the film site The Black Maria and film editor at CC2K. In 2012, she was interviewed on-air by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz. In 2013, she was a featured guest on the TCM podcast. In her spare time Jill is a stay-at-home mom, wife, fried okra connoisseur, and the neighborhood’s own L.B. Jeffries.

Comments

Raquelle
Reply

Another great review. Loved the flip video (but they gave the whole book away!). I’ve been curious about this one. I have Icons of Men’s Style on my list. Might try the Gary Cooper book after that one. :-)

kittenbiscuits
Reply

Thanks, Raquelle. I agree about the video. Nice, but reveals too much! The photos are beautiful.

The Lady Eve
Reply

As much as I would never question Gary Cooper’s great taste and style, I’ve always been ambivalent about him as an actor. Sometimes he seems to really click in a role, others he seems wooden and/or miscast. But this book sounds most interesting and I’m going to check it out. Thanks for a look at what’s inside, KB…

kittenbiscuits
Reply

Eve–

I feel the exact same way about Cooper as an actor. Really hit or miss for me. For example, I think he was horribly miscast in Love in the Afternoon. That is a role that belonged to Cary Grant, hands down. Of course, he was offered the part and turned it down. That said, I find him delightful in Ball of Fire. He seems a little stiff in that one, but it works with his character’s personality. I adore Design For Living, but not because of Cooper’s role. For me it’s all about March, Hopkins, and the very funny Edward Everett Horton.

Sarah
Reply

Wonderful review! I’ll be picking up a copy of this one. While I don’t love him in everything he did, he still gets my attention when I see him. I loved him in Ball of Fire too :)

I just love your blog. It’s perfect, and I’m sure I’ll be spending some time here. SO glad to have discovered you on Twitter. That was a good day :-)

kittenbiscuits
Reply

Hi there, Sarah! Thanks so much for stopping by!

This book is really beautiful. I think you will really enjoy it. And I love him in Ball of Fire too.

Thank you for the nice words about my blog. And so glad we’ve connected! I will definitely keep your blog on my must reads list. ;)

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