Incomparable: Women of Style

Image of Incomparable: Women of Style
Release Date: 
October 16, 2012
Reviewed by: 

Before delving into the specifics of Ms. Hartman’s book, it is necessary to say that her book appeals on several levels. For the Boomer, or someone who came of age in the last three and a half decades, Incomparable will serve as an opportunity to wax nostalgic about times and people gone by.

For those who were not as fortunate to have been part of that era, the book will serve as a reminder and enlightenment—of the glories that were once New York night life and society at their finest. On either plane, the book will be a constant source of enjoyment, let alone on the purely visual level.

Incomparable: Women of Style
is a chronicle and social history of New York City at its zenith of excitement when it came to players, places, and events.

During the first 20 years or so of this “diary” is when New York flourished like no other place in the world as we had Studio 54 and every club that set this city apart. These were the pre bodyguard days and when everyone was equal.

The women featured here women mingled with all of us and exposed a much more human rather than goddess like behavior than today.

Ms. Hartman has certainly captured the times with some of its most iconic images as well was with some faces who have since left the scene but were very much on the radar at the time.

“It was time to enter the chiffon jungle.”
—Rose Hartman

The above quote sums up the social revolution of the time and when Ms. Hartman appeared on the scene.

For this reviewer, there were stellar moments captured on film, such as Audrey Hepburn and Hubert Givenchy in a rarely seen photo or maybe one of the best photos ever taken of a smiling Annette de la Renta or a few shots of fashion’s greatest stars such as Vreeland, Mellen, and Wintour in more relaxed and unscripted moments.

Ms. Hartman’s version of these events and people is made even more compelling by the lack of air brushing or Photoshopping, which further drives home the point of the reality and joy of those times.

Ms. Hartman has managed to speak to generations of those interested in what once was New York City when it was still perceived behind the rose colored glasses as all glamour and grit and clothes to die for.