Holly George-Warren

How the West Was Worn

"'How the West Was Worn'"...is a history of silver spurs, embroidered boots, 10-gallon hats, coonskin caps, chaps and leather fringe--explained in detail and illustrated with brilliant color photos. The 240-page coffeetable book describes how movie stars such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans spurred the fashion's surge in popularity in music (Buck Owens, Gram Parsons and Madonna) and fashion (Ralph Lauren). It's for anyone who dreams of being a rhinestone cowboy."
--Mary Huhn, The New York Post, 12/​23/​01


"'Western wear is America's folk costume. It represents our heritage the way lederhosen does to Germans,' said fashion designer Michelle Freedman, coauthor with Holly George-Warren of the lively 239-page book, 'How the West Was Worn'. Together with George-Warren, she conducted nearly 200 interviews for the richly illustrated book. In the first chapter, the authors suggest rightly that the western look is a melting pot of Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and European traditions. They introduce the idea that western attire was a liberating force for frontier women...Western clothing also became the first American tourist garb, purchased and worn by Eastern dudes such as Teddy Roosevelt to prove to folks back home that they had suvived the wild frontier of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. ... The singing cowboys were hands-on about their clothing, according to the authors, who interviewed surviving relatives. Autry requested details such as eyelets and lacing, and later, devised, the idea for shirts with glow-in-the-dark trim. Rogers methodically creased his Stetsons by dousing the hats with water, tying a scarf around them, and letting them dry in the sun. "It's this great paradox,' George-Warren said. 'As cowboys [Autry and Rogers] had this reputation for being macho he-men, but then they had this other side.'"
--Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times, 10/​19/​01

Selected Works

Biography
"One of the Top 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2014." - flavorwire.com, December 2013
"Every celebrity could use a biographer like Holly George-Warren" -- The New York Times, April 2007
Illustrated Nonfiction
“Girls with gumption and a "can do" spirit will get a big kick out of Holly George-Warren’s The Cowgirl Way, which provides a fascinating history of the Wild West and cowgirls, from big names like Annie Oakley to lesser-known gals of the 21st century. Chapters are interspersed with photos, quotes and memorabilia that nicely complement the text. And though the book's target audience is tweens (ages 10 and up), teens and adults will also enjoy George-Warren’s meticulously researched history of American cowgirls.” – Bookpage
"a spirited romp through colorful cowboy fashion explained in detail and illustrated with brilliant color photos."
--Farrah Weinstein, The New York Post, Dec. 23, 2001
Nonfiction
The behind-the-scenes story of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, co-written with festival producer Michael Lang.
"a boot-stompin' good time...shrewdly exploring the gap between the image and the reality of the wild frontier."
--Bookpage, 10/02
Photography, History, Non-fiction, Music, Pop-Culture
365 rare images compassing the band's 43-year history, with comprehensive and insightful captions.
Rock history, photography
The essential illustrated book on Punk: from the Stooges to Television to the Clash to Black Flag
Illustrated Children's Nonfiction
"Fans of any age will enjoy this paean to roots music." -- Horn Book, March 2006
"Recommended!"
--The New York Times Book Review, June 2001