How do you catalog your life’s work? If you’re photographer Kelly Klein, a former fashion exec and the ex-wife of Calvin Klein, you spend three years combing your archives and revisiting every memory and shoot as if it happened yesterday. A daunting task to be sure. “I’ve done many coffee table books, photography books, and I have never done one with my photographs mainly because I didn’t really know how to do it,” says Klein, who, as an author and editor, has published tomes on singular subjects of interest including Pools, Horse, and Cross. Photographs by Kelly Klein, her latest work, is a lot more personal, and peels back the curtain of her worldly travels and experiences with some of the biggest names in fashion, business, and celebrity. “I found a lot of images that meant a lot to me at the time that I took them and when I looked at them recently they still meant a lot to me,” she tells Yahoo Style. “I started with a lot of fashion photographs and most of them were outtakes. And then I mixed that with the Instragrams, which I love taking now, and I mixed it all up.”
The result is no ordinary scrapbook. Part travelogue, part portfolio, Photographs is a fun trip down fashion memory lane. It features images of Shalom Harlow, Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, and Gisele Bundchen (“She was just a girl named Gisele”) during their nascent modeling days, candid photos of Carolyn Bessette and JFK Jr., behind-the-scene moments from far-flung shoots with Iman and Bruce Weber, and even “sleeping moguls” (ie Calvin, David Geffen, Sandy Gallin, and Barry Diller asleep on a yacht in Mustique). Thanks to an afterword by pop culture scribe Bob Colacello, the book shares a little known tale about how, in the ’80s, Calvin bought Kelly a gold and diamond ring that once belonged to the Duchess of Windsor. It was inscribed with the word “eternity,” which later became the impetus for the designer’s signature fragrance. “I still have the ring,” concedes Klein. Consider that the crown jewel of her inspiring, well-lived life.