Book Review – The Stylish Life Skiing

Skiing fans and lovers of stylish, luxurious living will love The Stylish Life Skiing, the book from Gabriella Le Breton published by teNeues. This beautiful volume tells the story of the ultimate winter sport and the art, culture, fashion and super-stylish resorts it has inspired. It will surely be on the coffee table of many a luxury chalet for the skiing season 2017.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
The Grimaldi Family, Photo © Alain Nogues/Sygma/Corbis

The story of skiing goes back thousands of years. But it’s the modern Alpine holiday industry – sparked by St. Moritz hotelier Johannes Badrutt in a cheeky bet with some guests – that interests Le Breton most.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
Europe, France, French Alps, Haute-Savoie, Chamonix, Brevant mountain restaurant, Photo © Christian Kober/JAI/Corbis; Skiing, Matterhorn, Switzerland, Photo © Henry Georgi/Corbis

She takes her readers on an exciting slalom through the places, people, fashion and culture of skiing.

In Destinations and Events, we meet Hannes Schneider, the St. Anton ski instructor who invented the Arlberg technique that most skiers still use today.

Chamonix, Zermatt, Saas Fee, Grindewald, Cortina d’Ampezzo, are the resorts Le Breton picks out as her favorite classic European ski destinations. She’s got time for the New World too though, picking out Aspen, Colorado, and some of Utah’s ski cities.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
Natalie Wood and Billy Kidd wearing ski outfits, Photo © Bettmann/CORBIS; Robert Kennedy instructing young John F. Kennedy Jr. on skiing, Photo © Bettmann/Corbis

Although this is a book about style, there’s a nice survey of the sporting figures who’ve dominated the world of white. Fortunately, winter sports stars have tended to be very dashing, debonair figures.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
© The Stylish Life – Skiing, published by teNeues, € 39,90, www.teneues.com
Photo © Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Mirja and Gunter Sachs, Photo © Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Corbis

Jean-Claude Killy bestrode the world of downhill in the 1960s, becoming an international star in the process. The slopes around Val d’Isère and Tignes are now named in his honor.

Alongside these high-speed artists of the mountains are those who grace the snow rather more gracefully. If any sport can claim a royal pedigree it’s skiing, and each family has their own favorite destination: the Dutch royals at Lech, Monaco’s blue bloods at Zurs, Swedish princes glide down St Moritz’s pistes, and Prince William kissed Kate at Klosters.

The modern day royalty of the celebrity magazines has the paparazzi donning their woollies to crowd around the slopes (and luxury shops, hotels, bars and clubs) of Courchevel in the French Alps above all other resorts. There you might spot a Beckham, Giorgio Armani, Roman Abramovich or Kate’s little sister Pippa Middleton.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
Gwen Stefani looks radiant in a new animal print ski outfit while skiing with husband Gavin Rossdale in Mammoth Lakes, CA., Photo © Sharpshooter Images/Splash/Splash News/Corbis; Ski resort of Courchevel, Savoie, Rhone-Alpes, France, Photo © Neil Emmerson/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

Many readers will head straight for the fashion pages in this beautifully illustrated volume. “When skiing established itself as the preferred winter sport of high society during the 1930s, it coincided with the “Golden Age of Couture,” writes Le Breton.

You’ll certainly see some familiar faces here, modelling the most desirable ski wear of their day, and raise an eyebrow at what an array of styles have had their day in the sun in ski fashion.

Even as ski wear has become extraordinarily complex, technologically advanced, and more and more practical and wearable it has kept its glamour. Fred Picard’s words in the Spokane Daily Chronicle in 1957 – “A girl can look sexier in ski clothes than in a bathing suit” – certainly still ring true today, although we might ask Fred to consider some of the very sexy gentlemen represented in this splendid parade of ski-fashion imagery.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
Moncler Fall 2012 RTW, Photo © Fairchild Photo Service/Condé Nast/Corbis

Finally, Le Breton introduces us to the word of art and culture inspired by skiing. That’s not the stretch you might think it is at first glance.

Even in the practical world of the pieces of wood (or carbon fiber) we glide down the slopes upon have included some true design classics, produced by the likes of the zai ski factory in the Swiss Alps or Fork Tree Skis in Courchevel.

Architects faced with the most difficult of high-altitude sites have really risen to the challenge with beautiful sky-scraping creations like the “Ferris Wheel” gondola station in St Anton, or Retho Mathis’ restaurant on the slopes above St Moritz.

The film cameras have loved the ski slopes. Who can forget Audrey Hepburn in her Givenchy cat suit in Megève?

The poster designers, landscape artists and photographers have made the most of some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. A 1932 Zermatt poster stands out as a real design classic.

© The Stylish Life - Skiing, published by teNeues; a book review by Finest Holidays S.L.
Sweden’s Holmlund, Canada’s Serwa, Austria’s Ofner and Switzerland’s Smith competes during women’s freestyle skiing skicross semi-finals at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor,
Photo © LUCAS JACKSON/Reuters/Corbis

This is a wonderful companion to any ski holiday and a must for any skier, as they enjoy their current luxury ski holiday, remember the last or look forward to the next.

Finest Holidays is a luxury travel specialist. We have the finest luxury ski chalets, apartments and luxury hotels in the best ski resorts around the world. If you’re looking forward to spring ski holidays (snow conditions are marvellous in March and April!) or already planning your ski break for winter 2017/18 take a look around our portfolio of properties or CALL us on +34 661 718 061 / +34 971 13 15 41 or send an email to  relax@finest-holidays.com NOW to discuss your plans.

 

 

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