New Books to Fete Famous Figures in Art and Fashion

Discover the private life of photographer Richard Avedon, the colorful work of Trina Turk, and the movie stars in the orbit of lensman Firooz Zahedi



RICHARD AVEDON in his studio with model VERUSCHKA in 1966. Photo by Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos.


A Fashionable Life
In What Becomes a Legend Most (Harper, $35), photography critic Philip Gefter chronicles the life and legacy of the late Richard Avedon through exclusive interviews, archival research and 16 pages of images. The new book — which explores what influence Avedon’s artist friends (including James Baldwin and Leonard Bernstein) had on his work — is the first definitive biography on the lauded 20th-century lensman.

Despite being largely dismissed as a celebrity photographer during his lifetime, Avedon’s drive to be respected by his peers fueled a decade that spanned half a century and both reflected and challenged the creative spirit of the changing times. Gefter relates the New York City native’s attempts to find a foothold in the art world, including the personal struggles he endured while working on now iconic books and exhibits (such as 1985’s In the American West), as well as stories behind some of his most famous contributions to Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.


RICHARD AVEDON with two Harper’s Bazaar editors at a 1948 DIOR show. Photo by Henri Cartier Bresson/Magnum Photos.


Styles (left and right) from TRINA TURK’s Spring 2015 Flower Mart collection, photographed by JONATHAN SKOW.


Coloring Book
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of her midcentury-inspired fashion and lifestyle brand, designer Trina Turk has thoughtfully compiled a 200-page-plus tome to highlight some of her most-loved styles and the inspirations behind them. In Trina Turk (Chronicle Books, $40) fans will find hundreds of images showcasing everything from her women’s clothing and swimwear to home goods and accessories to looks from the Mr. Turk line for men by way of campaign photography and full-page prints of the label’s vibrant patterns.

Turk herself pens a poignant introduction, covering her early struggles founding the company at age 34; her everlasting love affair with Palm Springs; and the relationships she’s built with fellow creatives Kelly Wearstler, Barbara Bestor, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler. Perhaps most moving are Turk’s insights and personal photos reflecting the life she shared with her husband, Jonathan Skow, who was the designer and tastemaker behind the Mr. Turk line until his untimely passing in 2018. Also featuring written contributions by Bestor, Doonan and fashion journalist Booth Moore, plus candid snapshots from Turk’s childhood in San Jose, this book is a must-have for those who have followed the designer’s trajectory over the past two and half decades.


Living room with vintage ALBINI rattan ottoman, slatted teak globe lounge chair, RICHARD NEUTRA coffee table and GERARD VAN DEN BERG FOR MONTIS leather sofa, as seen in TRINA TURK’s new book. Photo by Gaelle Le Boulicaut.


A series of SHARON STONE portraits from 2005 by FIROOZ ZAHEDI.


Close Up and Personal
In the early 1970s, Firooz Zahedi was just a novice with a 35 mm camera when a series of chance encounters led him to his professional destiny. First, he met Andy Warhol, who recruited him to take portraits for Interview magazine; then, soon after, he met Elizabeth Taylor, who lured him from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles to be her personal photographer (the starlet became his lifelong friend). Zahedi, who was born in Iran and grew up in England, decided to settle down in California, and in the decades that followed, he established himself as one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed lensmen.

In his new book, Look at Me (Pointed Leaf Press, $85), Zahedi reflects on his more than 40 years of work, from Uma Thurman’s famous Pulp Fiction movie poster to never-before-seen shots of such icons as Bette Midler, Meryl Streep, J. Lo, Diane Keaton, Cate Blanchett, Pierce Brosnan, Nicole Kidman and Debbie Harry — all accompanied by the artist’s first-person anecdotes. “It took several years for me to accept the West Coast culture,” Zahedi reflects. “But now you’d have to drag me out of Southern California.”


JANE FONDA in Beverly Hills in 2012 and SHARON STONE in 1992, both photographed by FIROOZ ZAHEDI.


Feature image: Vintage jewelry and sunglasses mingle with pieces by TRINA TURK. Photo by Nicole LaMotte.


Nov. 10, 2020

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