IN MY OWN FASHION: An Autobiography by Oleg Cassini
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IN MY OWN FASHION: An Autobiography

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Cassini's adventures among the rich and famous are told with all the style and verve of Casanova's Memoirs--although Cassini has more than a single string to his harp, unlike his fellow legendary seducer. From an Italian family living in pre-revolutionary Russia, Cassini and his younger brother Igor (who became the social arbiter Cholly Knickerbocker and dominated cafÉ society with his newspaper column) came to the States in Oleg's early 20s. Oleg inherited a fashion sense from his sybaritic father (who would ship 50 shirts at a time from one country to another for laundering), and showed early promise in sketching fashions for his mother. In the States, he married wealth but foundered as a designer of women's clothes, and later was blackballed in Hollywood as a studio designer when he eloped with teen-aged Gene Tierney (by then he was known as the ""Naughty Count""). Life with Tierney had its wild swings (she became mentally unstable after the birth of their first child, severely retarded), and the stories he tells of their Hollywood parties and battles and affairs have a wonderful modesty. Cassini's great triumphs after his marital disaster with Tierney were the successful pursuit of young Grace Kelly as she was making To Catch a Thief in the south of France, his hilarious encounters with Orson Welles and Gary Grant (""[his charm] seemed almost a force of nature; it was dazzling""), and his enormous success as personal designer for Jackie Kennedy upon her entrance into the Maison Blanche and his creation of the world-sweeping ""Jackie Look."" ""Yes, it was true that I have dressed (and undressed) some of the more significant women of the twentieth century. . .But I am plagued by the insignificance of it all when compared to the family heritage, the role I might have played, the life I might have led."" Few readers will agree. Surely a smash hit is in bloom herein.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1987
Publisher: Simon & Schuster