Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life by Tracy Tynan


A lovely book about growing up as the daughter of famous writers (Kenneth Tynan and Elaine Dundy). Lots of celebrity friends crop up amongst the relative neglect. Each chapter is structured around an item of clothing (a Pucci dress, a Muji T-shirt) that acts as a Proustian madeleine to go back to the past, to provide a fulcrum to that particular story, and also ties the threads of the book together. Tracy Tynan would go on to marry director James McBride so the ‘incidents on the fringes of celebrity culture’ – feel to the book continues to the end. It’s well-written, sophisticated in its acceptance of various foibles and entertaining, at least until the end where the yoga retreats and the Starbucks coffee orders got a bit much for me. Tynan would go on to costume several famous films (Breathless, Choose Me) and it is these aspects that I found most interesting and useful. She recounts what a costume designer does beyond designing for the stars and, in enumerating the various challenges she faced, she offers a clear breakdown of the various tasks involved. I recommend.

José Arroyo

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