Auto Draft

marlene lopez

Tracy Tynan is a costume designer and writer. Her credits include the movies The Big EasyBlind DateGreat Balls of Fire, and Tuesdays with Morrie. Her new book, Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life (Scribner) is a candid, entertaining memoir told through clothes. Tynan grew up in London in the 1950’s and 60s, privy to her parents’ glamorous parties and famous friends—Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, and Orson Welles. Cecil Beaton and Katharine Hepburn were her godparents. These stylish showbiz people were role models for Tracy, who became a clotheshorse at a young age. Her father, Kenneth Tynan, was a powerful theater critic and writer for the Evening Standard, the Observer, and the New Yorker. Her mother was Elaine Dundy, a successful novelist and biographer. Both of Tracy’s parents, particularly her father, were known as much for what they wore as what they wrote. Tynan tackles issues big and small using clothes as an entrée—relationships, marriage, children, stepchildren, blended families, her parent’s decline and deaths, and her work as a costume designer are all recounted with humor, with insight, and with the special joy that can only come from finding the perfect outfit.