Off the page: ‘Design & Style’ by Carolyne Roehm

It is storybook pages to indulge the senses. Each spread, a creative burst of livid color infusing fashion, florals and fabrics for the home. It is tastemaker and style maven Carolyne Roehm’s substantial memoir (300-plus oversized pages) detailing, through personal anecdotes and spectacular photos, her rise from a farm-town girl to stints in modeling, fashion design, working for Oscar de la Renta and the rise and fall (and rise) of her personal brand to ultimately create 13 books on everything she adores. New York society included.

Roehm doesn’t shy away from her failures: business ventures, collapsed marriages, emotional distress. But she buoys back with reinvention and a passion to pursue the aesthetically pleasing. She buoys back to celebrate what she finds to be both beautiful and useful.

“I cherish anything of quality,” she writes. “When you see something of quality, no matter what it is, part of your appreciation comes from knowing that the people who made it respected you—and themselves.”

This memoir is not only filled with the fashion of Roehm’s early days, it weaves clothing and flowers and interior style together to offer the reader a new way to look at the world. Naturally, it helps that she was once married to private equity billionaire Henry Kravis—but in true storybook fashion, Roehm carves a name for herself outside of this wealth through her instinctive sense of style and her eye for everyday elegance. To this, she attributes the constant thread.

“The thread is an innate love of color, nature, quality and classicism—the elements that have informed my very spirit and my work.”