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Book Review: Technicolor Dreamin': The 1960’s Rainbow and Beyond by Karen Moller

If you’re interested in the private lives of people who make the fashion world, how they started and how they got to the top, you might want to pick up a copy of Karen Moller’s memoir, Technicolor Dreamin': The 1960’s Rainbow and Beyond.

In her fresh and engaging voice, award-winning fashion designer and consultant Moller takes us on a trip through time. She was a rebel, a restless, idealistic teen in rural Canada, who decided to leave home and hitchhike to pursue her dreams, witnessing and experiencing the counter-culture revolution of the ’60s and ’70s in San Francisco, New York, London, and Paris, working with such celebrities as Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, and The Beatles, and creating her successful fashion consulting firm, Trend Union, in 1985.

The memoir starts in the present time with Moller having a conversation with her young niece Adele, who wants to postpone her university education in order to travel and see the world. Moller advises her to read a copy of Kerouac’s On the Road, a book that she read back in the ’50s and that had an immense influence on her outlook on life. The book offered young Moller courage in her pursuit of creative freedom and encouraged her to hitchhike her way to San Francisco.

“Kerouac had seemed like some kind of God, a sort of prophet sent to liberate us from the conformist middle class lives we were being programmed to live,” writes Moller.

Moller talks about her childhood, dealing with a mother who had no time for a girl and a father who was irrational, self-centered, and insensitive. Moller’s dreams and creativity made her different in the eyes of her family. “I became a family joke,” she writes.

It wasn’t easy. She had to work herself through school and at times had little to eat. But she persevered, and her talent and persistence eventually took her from San Francisco to New York to London, during which time she met and worked with many famous people. At the time, London was in the midst of a cultural revolution. The anti-war movement was in full swing and the city was alive with avant-garde art galleries and art centers. It was here that Moller started designing and printing her colorful textiles. She later moved to Paris, where she opened Trend Union.

Full of interesting anecdotes, the memoir is well written and offers an exciting and colorful glimpse into the world of fashion during the hippie revolution. Moller has a light and lively writing style that makes the reading experience engaging. The book is inspirational and proves that dreams can come true if we focus on what we love, work hard, don’t give up, and reach for the stars. 

For more, visit Karen Moller’s website.

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.