There’s nothing more fun and interesting to me than knowing trivia about things, how they are made and where they come from.
Today I combined three of my favorite topics: Fashion, History, and Books. Usually, we assume that Fashion is about creativity, technical skill, and vision. And that’s true, but to have those skills you have to study and to know what has been done before, for two main reasons – to be inspired and to be original (so you don’t copy anyone by accident!). And that’s where Fashion History comes along!
So here are three History books that seem trustworthy, useful and fun!
Historic Costumes and How to Make Them
Dover Fashion and Costumes (Mary Fernald & E. Shenton)
“This practical and informative guidebook is a “must-have” for anyone planning to create accurate period costumes for theatrical productions and historical reenactments. From short tunics worn by Saxon men in the fifth century to a lady’s bustle dress of the late 1800s, this profusely illustrated text contains a wealth of authentic patterns. Information on pattern sizes, materials required, and methods of sewing accompany simply drawn diagrams for Elizabethan doublets, capes, and trunks; a man’s coat and vest from the Restoration period; a lady’s bell-shaped gown of the eighteenth century; an early-nineteenth-century empire gown; a crinoline; and other wardrobe items.”
I couldn’t find an image of any page of this book to see how much “educational” the book can be, but I hope it explains enough so you can try to do it yourself at home. I find the clothes from past centuries the most detailed and refined pieces and you have to be a master to handle that kind of craft.
What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society
“What People Wore When combines the studies of two classic nineteenth-century illustrators Auguste Racinet and Friedrich Hottenroth for the first time. Their works are presented first by chronology and then by subject, so that illustrators, historians, and students alike can choose to follow the path of fashion through the centuries, or study in detail the contrasting styles of individual clothing and accessories. Silhouettes reveal the shape of style through the ages, detailed cross-references draw attention to recurring motifs, and navigation bars help the researcher to travel the complex chronology of costume.”
If the first book is more about the craft of the fashion, this one seems more about the history side of it and I love it! I want to learn how and why the clothes changed and what repercussions that changes had on the society of that time.
From this example page, it seems very detailed with a lot of information but presented in an organic and easy way.
Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present
(Alison Mathews David)
“From insidious murder weapons to blaze-igniting crinolines, clothing has been the cause of death, disease, and madness throughout history, by accident and design. Clothing is designed to protect, shield and comfort us, yet lurking amongst seemingly innocuous garments we find hats laced with mercury, frocks laden with arsenic and literally `drop-dead gorgeous’ gowns.”
Do you know that tv show ‘1000 Ways to Die‘ where they re-enact the stupidest deaths? It’s just like that but deaths caused by clothes! I made a goal of my to buy this book until the end of this year and I will probably achieve it. It just seems like a fun book to read and to have on my collection!
What do you think about this books?
Do you have some fashions book you recommend?
Let me know in the comments!
See you soon*