Ageless Bride: Famous Designers Dress, Inspire & Celebrate Brides Over 50! by Gigi Schilling

Source: Jeryl Brunner
Paperback, 123 pgs.
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Ageless Bride: Famous Designers Dress, Inspire & Celebrate Brides Over 50! by Gigi Schilling offers an inside look at designer’s creative process in creating timeless dresses for brides over age 50.  Gigi Schilling says that brides of this age who are marrying for the first time or are embarking on a new marriage often view their wedding as a more sedate affair, but she says that these women should live out their fantasy wedding because it will be a time they will always cherish and remember.  Part of that is the dress, and designers are holding nothing back for these brides, who know who they are and are less insecure.

From Isaac Mizrahi and Zac Posen to Betsey Johnson and Ines di Santo, the dress designs run the gamut of whimsical to sophisticated.  Each has a special take on these ageless brides and how they want their dresses to look and feel.  Schilling does a fantastic job of asking just the right questions of these designers.  It will give brides and others a sense of what an ageless bride is looking for and how she wants to feel on her wedding day.  One thing I noted from the sketches was that the male designers (not all) tend to either leave off the heads in their sketches or use faceless heads, while the female designers’ sketches are more whimsical and detailed in the features of the bride.

Schilling also includes five different wedding ceremony scenarios, including one for the first time bridge who is over age 50.  There are ceremonies for the encore bride, the remarriage, the city hall ceremony, and the elopement as well.  Each of these has a central message, do not deny yourself the wedding of your dreams.  There is no reason to.  The final section of the book discusses the veil and whether ageless brides will use them and why or why not.  From the traditional veil to the veil attached to a fashionable hat, Schilling offers insight into all of them with help from various brides and designers.

Ageless Bride: Famous Designers Dress, Inspire & Celebrate Brides Over 50! by Gigi Schilling is a look at how romance can happen at any age, and for those brides over age 50, it can help you overcome those out-dated traditions for older brides.  A romantic wedding of your dreams awaits.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Author:

Gigi Schilling is the Founder of SoAgeless. She aspires to inspire you to Act your Ageless! Gigi is 58 and considers herself ageless. She loves to laugh, wear high heels, and be a curvaceous size 10.

Born in Brazil to European parents, she views herself as nomad living in multiple cultures. Gigi has lived in many places: Miami, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, the Bahamas, Buenos Aires, and Patagonia. Educated in Rio de Janeiro, she received a Bachelors of Science in Journalism. Her greatest legacy is her 19-year-old son Alexander.

In 2010, Gigi created a community on Facebook called, Over 50 & Irresistible, based on the paradox she coined, “Too old to live at 50 – yet, too young to die at 50?” In 2016, she decided to do away with the number and SoAgeless was born.

In 2017, Gigi published her first book, Ageless Bride, to inspire the over 50 woman to shed outdated rules and allow herself to enjoy the magic and romance of being a bride. Visit her website.

New Authors Reading Challenge 2017

My City, My Los Angeles by Jeryl Brunner

My City, My Los Angeles by Jeryl Brunner, author of My City, My New York (my review), is another book, published in April 2013, that offers some stunning sights and out-of-the way places for tourists to visit.  In Los Angeles, Brunner finds that the actors, actresses, and other celebrities that live there have a lot of advice and stories to share.  Shaun White and Luanne Rice are just some celebs offering their advice in the section on Beaches, Gardens, Hideaways, and Secret Spots, while Lisa Ling and Josh Groban are among those offering advice on the best places to eat.  There’s also advice from nocturnal places to stores, markets, and spas, and sexy spaces to saunters, sails, rides, hikes, and drives.  What’s interesting is that more than one celebrity has said that it takes about 20 years to get used to living in Los Angeles, including Ruth Vitale.

For a newbie to Los Angeles, Brunner’s guide will likely make them feel like an insider, while still ensuring that they hit all the top touristy spots.  In addition to information about each location discussed by the celebrities, readers are given an inside look into the impressions and reasons why celebrities enjoy a particular space and what that space provides them.  Molly Shannon says about the Annenberg Community Beach House, built by William Randolph Hearst for his mistress, “I love the idea that I’m swimming in the mistress’s pool.” (page 4)  Readers will enjoy the back stories as actors and others talk about how they came to Los Angeles, and how they take stay-cations with their spouses to enjoy the sights around them that they normally don’t get to see because they are too busy.

Pink’s has the best hot dogs.  I like the spicy polish because I’m spicy Polish,” says Richard Dreyfuss.  (page 37)

From producers to city councilmen, Brunner has interviewed a wide range of Los Angeles residents to ensure readers get the most varied information possible.  What’s clear from all of these accounts is that LA is right in the middle of everything from beaches to mountains and hiking as well as museums, gardens, some of the best food, and more.  In the more category is the one story of how Celebrity Autobiography began with Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel just reading out loud at a fun space from memoirs of celebrities for fun, and then it grew organically from there.  This story and others seem to be a testament to how artists can create fun and a rewarding project without realizing it — all in a space devoted to nocturnal fun, mingling, and most likely drinking.

One of my favorite openings to a section is in Stores, Markets, & Spas, where Brunner quotes Patti Smith’s plea that we not abandon the paper book and Natalie Compagno’s connection to books from a young age and her determination to buy a closing bookstore devoted to books on travel.  Readers will want to sink into Mandy Patinkin’s Beverly Hot Springs and visit any of the farmer’s markets in the LA area, as well as the unforgettable The Cheese Store of Silver Lake.

My City, My Los Angeles by Jeryl Brunner will make readers’ mouths water for the food in the city and for the relaxation to be had on the beaches and in the mountains.  But more than that, she provides an insider’s look at an American icon.  It makes me want to visit LA, how about you?

***Now I’d love to see one about Washington, D.C.***

About the Author:

For author and journalist, Jeryl Brunner, a good interview is like a tango – complex, soulful, fiery, exciting and illuminating. And she’s been dancing for years, contributing to a variety of publications including O, the Oprah Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Delta Sky, Elle.com, ForbesTraveler.com, Four Seasons, People, Us Weekly, Brides, Parade, AOL and Huffington Post.

Mailbox Monday #216

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is Chaotic Compendiums.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received for review:

1.  Come Late to the Love of Birds by Sandra Kasturi from Tightrope Books for review in April.

Sandra’s first collection, The Animal Bridegroom featured an introduction by Neil Gaiman and has sold out. This collection expands on her themes of abject romances, deformed fairytales gone and the astonishing delights of life in glorious 21st century.

Kasturi’s latest poetry book fuses nature’s continuous emotional offerings, our desire to understand ourselves with our passion to be free, devoid of the burden of modern thought.

2.  Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende for a TLC Book Tour in May.

This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer.

When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as “the vampires,” she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime–a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol.

Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life.

3.  Market Street by Anita Hughes from St. Martin’s Press for review.

Cassie Blake seems to lead a charmed life as the heiress to Fenton’s, San Francisco’s most exclusive department store. But when she discovers her husband, Aidan, a handsome UC Berkeley professor, has had an affair with a student, she flees to the comfort of her best friend Alexis’s Presidio Heights mansion, where she wonders if she should give their marriage one more chance.

Whether or not she can forgive Aidan is not the only choice Cassie has to make. Cassie’s mother is eager to have her oversee the opening of Fenton’s new Food Emporium, which Fenton’s hopes will become San Francisco’s hottest gourmet shopping destination. Cassie’s true passion has always been food, not fashion, and Cassie suspects her mother might be trying to lure her into the Fenton’s fold by entrusting her with such an exciting opportunity. And then there is James, the architect designing the Emporium, who is quietly falling in love with her.

4.  My City, My Los Angeles by Jeryl Brunner for review.

What do famous people love to do during their free time in Los Angeles? Angelenos and other notables have their rituals that connect them to the city in a unique way: favorite restaurants, museums, beaches, parks, markets, landmarks, haunts, and hideaways. The activities are as diverse and eclectic as the city itself. My City, My Los Angeles gives readers something truly unique––a chance to experience L.A. the way the city’s most notable luminaries do.

Here’s what I purchased/picked up at Novel Places:

5.  One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf, which was on the free book table.

In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.

Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town’s children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.

As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

6.  Everyman Dies Alone by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann, for book club in March — yes, I’m behind in reading this one for the club discussion.

It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Reich, they launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

In the end, it’s more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order—it’s a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what’s right, and for each other.

7.  2017 by Olga Slavnikova, translated by Marian Schwartz.

In the year 2017 in Russia-exactly 100 years after the revolution-poets and writers are obsolete, class distinctions are painfully sharp, and spirits intervene in the lives of humans from their home high in the mythical Riphean Mountains.

Professor Anfilogov, a wealthy and emotionless man, sets out on an expedition to unearth priceless rubies that no one else has been able to locate. Young Krylov, a talented gem cutter who Anfilogov had taken under his wing, is seeing off his mentor at the train station when he is drawn to a mysterious stranger who calls herself Tanya. A scandalous affair ensues, but trouble arises in the shape of Krylov’s ex-wife Tamara and a spy who appears at the lovers’ every rendezvous. As events unfold, Krylov begins to learn more than he bargained for about the women in his life and realizes why he recognizes the spy from somewhere deep within his past. Meanwhile, Anfilogov’s expedition reveals ugly truths about man’s disregard for nature and the disasters stemming from insatiable greed.

What did you receive?

My City, My New York by Jeryl Brunner

My City, My New York by Jeryl Brunner (my interview) is the perfect companion for a trip to the Big Apple — New York City — because it is a collection of hidden treasures from the celebrities, icons, foodies, and authors who live there.  Broken into seven sections — Secret Gardens & Hidden Spaces, Central Park: Acres of Green; New York Eats; Nocturnal New York; Saunters, Strolls, Sails, Rides & Rambles; Stores, Street Fairs, Boutiques & Bargains; and Superstar Structures, Sexy Spaces, Beatific Bridges & Arty Pockets — it is the epitome of an insider’s look at one of the largest and most intriguing cities in the world.  Clearly Brunner is right when she says in the introduction, “Most New Yorkers have rituals that connect them to their city in unique and personal ways” (page xiii); and we all have those rituals and personal connections to our home cities and even the cities and towns we grew up in.

“I’ll sit on a bench and get lost.  I always have a book with me — I usually have a little notebook for taking notes.  I’ll either think that I’m going to read or think that I’ll write in my notebook, yet so often, I’ll just get really lost in the rustle of the leaves overhead and the birds singing.  I’ll follow a bird and really watch it until I can’t see it.  Time flies by,” says author Luanne Rice about Clement Clarke Moore Park.(page 13)

“I love to walk in neighborhoods that I don’t know very well.  My husband is a very serious photographer and he has a really great camera, and the two of us will just walk and walk and take pictures together.  And we’ll look at something and he’ll take a picture of it and then I’ll look at the same thing and then I’ll take a picture of it.  He likes to say, ‘One camera and four eyes.’,” says Bebe Neuwirth of their walk to the American Merchant Mariners Memorial. (page 145)

Brunner includes stories from a number of well-known actors who either moved to or have always lived in New York City, plus directors, Broadway actors, activists, and more.  What’s interesting is that each section is prefaced with not only a quote, but a little explanation of something special found in New York whether its the forgotten origins of community gardening or a local restaurant’s take on the food in the city.  The Great Saunter is just one of those fascinating moments in the book.  Moreover, under each anecdote, there is a list of the locations discussed, their addresses, and phone number and/or Website to find out more information.  There are literally dozens upon dozens of hidden New York gems and more famous sight seeing spots, like Central Park and Strawberry Fields, but what makes this unique is the routines, stories, and habits of those recommending these locations.  It reads more like a conversation between friends about their favorite hideouts and places to ruminate.  One of my personal favorites is from Hugh Jackman about how his son treats Central Park like a forest and sets out in the morning with a full backpack and does not return home until the sun has set.

My City, My New York by Jeryl Brunner is a must have for those visiting the city, especially for Book Bloggers taking an extra few days to explore the city in June for BBC and BEA, but it’s also great for those who love to know what their favorite celebrities enjoy.  Looking for highly recommended restaurants, bakeries, and other food venues while you are in the city, you’ll have to pick up a copy of this book and try some of these recommendations out.  And of course, there are the great night spots for hanging out, dancing, and schmoozing with friends.  Readers will want to find out what location Robin Williams was in when someone asked who the homeless man was, and they’ll definitely want to find out where “Toss the Rice” is.  Excellent behind-the-scenes guide for anyone interested in taking their time to explore the Big Apple.

This is my 6th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #162

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is the At Home With Books.

Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.

Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1. The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele for review from Penguin.

2. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie unrequested from HarperCollins.

3. My City, My New York by Jeryl Brunner for review from the author; check out my Interview.

4. Guardians of the Gate by Vincent Parrillo for review from the author.

5. The Auroras by David St. John for review from HarperCollins.

6. The Girl in the Box by Sheila Dalton, unrequested from the publisher.

7. The Last Storyteller by Frank Delaney for review.

What did you receive this week?

Interview With Jeryl Brunner, Author of My City, My New York

My City, My New York by Jeryl Brunner should appeal to those looking to visit New York City, and that includes those looking to attend Book Expo America in 2012.  Not only will the city be humming with authors and new books, as well as parties and networking events, but there are landmarks, statues, museums, and more.  Brunner’s book offers a unique perspective on the city, highlighting some of the best places enjoyed by those who live there, and it reads like a regular who’s who list of celebrities, including Woody Allen and Will Shortz’s favorite spots in the city.

Brunner kindly agreed to an interview and the opportunity to tell you a little more about herself and her book.  Please give her a warm welcome.

1. What inspired you to create your book, My City, My New York, about favorite places of celebrities from New York City?

I love New York City! Ever since I was a little girl, living in Yonkers, New York about 45 minutes away, I dreamed of living in the Big Apple. (And from the time I was 15, I visited every weekend to take drama and dance classes here. New York City held so much promise and opportunities. It seemed to be a place where I could ignite a dream. So when it came time to go to college, I knew that I had to attend New York University and live in Manhattan. I’ve more or less lived here ever since.

So with this book, I wanted to share my passion for New York City – but as seen through the eyes of others. And also, whenever I’m in a new locale, I love to ask people who live there, what would be your idea of a perfect day – if you could do anything what would you do, eat, experience, etc. And the answers are not only informative; they also speak volumes about the person sharing the information. It’s really telling. So I love learning about someone based on what they tell me about how they spend their free time. You learn so much!

2. Did you know all the contributors through your job as a journalist or did you seek their contributions through other means?

I knew some of the people featured in the book because I had interviewed them so many times while working as a journalist. But others, I connected with through friends or friends of friends. It took a lot of time and commitment to reach all those people.

3. What are your personal connections to New York and how did you decide and become a celebrity journalist?

I had always wanted to become an actress. I was a drama major at New York University and many of my friends are actors. So I love talking to actors about their craft. I love that actors have the freedom to step out of themselves and become someone else. I got cold feet about acting, but I always loved the idea of talking to actors about what they do, how they approach a role, knowing what makes them human. So I became a celebrity journalist when I began working at In Style magazine. It was the mid-1990s and the magazine was brand new then and my boss was seeking a reporter. (I explained my deep personal connection to New York in question 1 but can elaborate here if you wish.)

4. Name 3-5 of your favorite places in New York City that you recommend to anyone.

I adore Central Park. I can visit nearly everyday and it’s not enough. I’m in love with water so the reservoir is particularly special. But I love so many features of it – the soft dirt so it’s not as jarring to walk on, the gorgeousness of the water with the buildings as a backdrop is so dramatic and interesting. Every time I visit, it’s different, the light is different and it’s so beautiful to me.

I just visited the Garden of St. Lukes in the Field for the first time and was blown away by the serenity and peacefulness of the place. Bill Pullman and John Cameron Mitchell love the tucked away lush little treasure. When he was rehearsing the show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell used to study his lines there from a bench under a tree. Bill Pullman will picnic there. It’s such a special place! But who knew!

I love the bike and walking path along the Hudson River called Hudson River Park. Each little section feels like its own state or country. And the further North you go, the more bucolic the landscape on the other side, across the river when you’re looking out into New Jersey. I stop at the big Fairway market right on the river around 135th Street, stock up on picnic items and have a picnic along the water’s edge. It really feels other worldly and beautiful. It’s like you’re going on vacation without having to go very far.

While the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is beautiful and has its own allure, I adore the Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ornaments are breathtakingly beautiful works of art. Some are very baroque. The tree is placed in a beautiful courtyard at the Met and always stops me in my tracks. I love it!

5. When writing poetry, prose, essays, and other works do you listen to music, do you have a particular playlist for each genre you work in or does the playlist stay the same? If you don’t listen to music while writing, do you have any other routines, obsessions, or habits?

I love listening to music, but for some reason, I usually need silence when I write. Every once in a while though, I listen to a beautiful song from Stephen Sondheim. He writes so beautifully, he always inspires me! I write from my laptop computer and my favorite place to work is outside. Weather permitting, I always try to work in Central Park. (Thank goodness for my wi-fi modem!)

6. If you read poetry, do you have any favorite poets or contemporary poetry collections others should read?  Favorite fiction/nonfiction books?

I like E. E. Cummings. And I’m not sure if you want to call him a poet, but one of my favorite poets/wordsmith is William Shakespeare. He strings words together like no other. And although he wrote hundreds of years ago, his themes are still so relevant. And he strings words together so beautifully.

Anything by David Sedaris, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sarah Vowell, David Mamet, Tennessee Williams and Douglas Carter Beane. (I love to read plays!)

Thanks, Jeryl, for answering my questions. I can’t wait to see what you write next, and I just love David Mamet!

About the Author:

For author and journalist, Jeryl Brunner, a good interview is like a tango – complex, soulful, fiery, exciting and illuminating. And she’s been dancing for years, contributing to a variety of publications including O, the Oprah Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Delta Sky, Elle.com, ForbesTraveler.com, Four Seasons, People, Us Weekly, Brides, Parade, AOL and Huffington Post.

Author Jeryl Brunner

Jeryl joined In Style magazine in its infancy in 1994, and remained on staff for nine years. As a correspondent at the magazine, she wrote items for nearly every section. One of her regular columns was “On the Phone,” where she gave a celebrity a cell phone and called the star at random during the week. She also wrote “Lookback,” the magazine’s final page. Since beginning her freelance career, she has covered celebrities, travel, trends, food, fashion and entertainment.

“Freelancing offers such a delicious variety of experiences,” says Jeryl. Her work has taken her to the Lord of the Rings premiere in New Zealand; to a luxurious spa in Chiang Mai, Thailand; and to the hospital in St. Remy, France where Vincent Van Gogh painted The Starry Night. “I adore the reporting process,” she says. “It’s like peeling the layers of an onion until you get to the freshest and most pungent part. Always curious, I cannot think of a time when I was afraid to ask questions. As a child, I used to come up with subjects that interested me, but knew little about, and spent hours in the library investigating (that was long before computers and the internet! I miss the card catalog.) There was something so exciting about the quest. Now I get to and ask questions for a living. And with writing, there’s something liberating about having a blank screen and painting with words.”

Jeryl lives in New York City. She cherishes walking along the reservoir in Central Park, is absolutely mad for The Musée Rodin in Paris (especially the Camille Claudel room), will never walk out of a play (no matter how bad it is), wonders if you can say you’ve read a book if you only listen to it, gets a buzz from one sip of pink champagne, always leaves hotel rooms very neat, is gaga for her super cool nephews and has downloaded an embarrassing amount of show tunes on her iPod.