Review: Tales from the Back Row: An Outsider’s View from Inside the Fashion Industry by Amy Odell

23492702Funny and fearless, Tales from the Back Row is a keenly observed collection of personal essays about what it’s really like to be a young woman working in the fashion industry.

In Tales from the Back Row, editor Amy Odell takes readers behind the stage of New York’s hottest fashion shows to meet the world’s most influential models, designers, celebrities, editors, and photographers.

But first, she has to push her way through the crowds outside, where we see the lengths people go to be noticed by the lurking paparazzi, and weave her way through the packed venue, from the very back row to the front. And as Amy climbs the ladder (with tips about how you can, too), she introduces an industry powered by larger-than-life characters: she meets the intimidating Anna Wintour and the surprisingly gracious Rachel Zoe, not to mention the hilarious Chelsea Handler, and more.

As she describes the allure of Alexander Wang’s ripped tights and Marchesa’s Oscar-worthy dresses, Amy artfully layers in something else: ultimately this book is about how the fashion industry is an exaggerated mirror of human fallibility—reflecting our desperate desire to belong, to make a mark, to be included. For Amy is the first to admit that as much as she is embarrassed by the thrill she gets when she receives an invitation to an exclusive after-party, she can’t help but RSVP “yes.”


This book was sent to me by Simon & Schuster Publishing in return for an honest review.

This book was pretty witty and funny. I have to give it to Odell, she had me smiling and laughing a good few moments and not many books do that for me. Although I found it kind of hard to connect with the book I still did enjoy the read. Loved her point of view especially in the beginning when she was talking about being an outsider (becuase I have 0 fashion sense and knowledge of that industry). Overall a light and quick, fun read.

Granted a lot of the time I kind of couldn’t really pick up on the fashion aspect of things. I didn’t connect to it. Probably because I have no interest or care for it. But I did enjoy Odell’s writing. I feel like this would be a GREAT book for someone who enjoys books similar to Confessions of A Shopaholic. I feel like that this is a book people who liked that book will enjoy.  The stories used in this I think were good ones, almost like a good friend was talking to you about her day at work. It flowed, and I won’t say that I didn’t like the book, I did. I just don’t think it was a book for me.

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