C.Z. Guest: American Style Icon

A treasure trove of extraordinary images celebrating the elegance and flair of style icon C.Z. Guest—a true tastemaker known for her classic, understated American look who continues to influence fashion today. Celebrated for her beauty and personal style, C.Z. Guest transcended eras to become an enduring figure of good taste, appearing on the cover of Time magazine in 1962. A grande dame of high society, she lived the good life and was photographed by such legends as Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, John Rawlings, and Slim Aarons. Despite her patrician upbringing, C.Z. was surprisingly modern, exerting influence over America’s cultural landscape for fifty years, whether attending her close friend Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, dancing at Studio 54, or partying at Andy Warhol’s Factory. Exploring her continuing influence in the spheres of society, fashion, and interiors, C.Z. Guest is full of stunning images, from her days as a young bride, photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson, to her family life on her Long Island estate, Templeton, to her accomplishments as a gardener and her impeccable gardens, to her prominence in society, keeping company with everyone from Diego Rivera, Cecil Beaton, and Diana Vreeland to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. With insightful contributions by today’s top tastemakers, this is the first book on C.Z. Guest and a must for devotees of fashion and style.

About The Author

Susanna Salk is the author of Be Your Own Decorator, Room for Children, and Weekend Retreats and is a contributing editor for and, as well as a regular contributor to design segments for NBC’s Today Show. William Norwich has written about style for many publications, including the New York Times and Vogue. He is the author of the novel Learning to Drive and the children’s book Molly and the Magic Dress.

  • Publish Date: April 16, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography - Women
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9 x 12
  • Pages: 280
  • US Price: $75.00
  • CDN Price: $80.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3971-1


"Unlike many books of its sort, this effort, with its earthbound intimacy of text and photographs, leaves you with an indistinguishable itch not to revel in the past but to perhaps take a page out of Guest's no-nonsense playbook." ~Dujour Magazine

"This is just about one of the most beautifully executed books about one of America’s most enduring and quintessential society and style icons. C. Z. Guest: American Style Icon lives up to its name on every imaginable level and then goes on to deliver a genuinely endearing and personal portrait depicting a woman who is legendary and remains unforgettable. This is a book that one returns to over and over again as the subject and her sphere of influence in the worlds of fashion and style will be remembered for generations to come. C. Z. Guest: American Style Icon should be given as a gift to those who are interested in learning the true definitions of grace and style." ~NY Journal of Books

"...Author, designer, and Today Show contributor Susanna Salk provides a tantalizing glimpse into the world of Boston socialite C.Z. Guest. While Guest embodied, even defined, WASP style—doting on dogs and horses, perfecting her tennis game, and being the consummate hostess—she, as Salk puts it, “bucked at the expectations of her own cliché, constantly surprising with modern gestures that somehow never felt scandalous. In addition to writing in depth about Guest’s always-classic personal style....Salk asked Guest’s nearest and dearest to contribute their stories of her. And each tale is better than the next." ~One Kings Lane

"True style icons are few and far between but C.Z. Guest ranks at the top of American qualifiers. More than merely beautiful and stylish, the essence of her status emanated from within, expressing her zest for life across the board. She was the alluring embodiment of seemingly disparate worlds. And it is this fascinating dichotomy that Susanna Salk captures so wonderfully in her new volume from Rizzoli. With contributions from an impressive cast of both A-listers and intimates who knew her best, we are painted a portrait of a woman both of and ahead of her time, whose interests ranged from Mainbocher to Madonna from pups and ponies to Dali and discos. And yet C.Z. was never more or less than herself. So completely comfortable and confident, she never tried nor needed to impress. She remained true to her classic Boston brahmin style, exuding an enviable elegance that was both timeless and chic."

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