2013 Gift Guide – Fashion History Books

My next holiday gift post is for any budding fashion historians or vintage fashion collectors. I’ve got some books that will be excellent additions to a personal library.

These first three books are great reference books. If you know someone who wants to learn more about fashion history, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

Fashion: A History From the 18th to the 20 Century from the Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute is a gorgeous book. The pages are filled with full color photographs that bleed off the page of some of the finest clothes that were ever created. The pieces featured are the height of fashion through three centuries.

The next book, 100 Ideas That Changed Fashion by Harriet Worsley, chronicles fashion history through specific aesthetic influences, movements, designers, events, technology improvements, and more. Each spread is a snap shot on a limited topic that impacted fashion. These snippets are fascinating.

Fashion: A Visual History from Regency and Romance to Retro and Revolution by NJ Stevenson, is set up as a chronological timeline that looks at women’s and men’s style from period to period, major designers, and innovations in types of garments. Again, broken up into spreads, it covers a lot of ground to give a well-rounded picture of changing Western fashion.

Moving on the collecting side of fashion history, these next two books are great for anyone who dreams of assembling their own collection.

Your Vintage Keepsake: A CSA Guide to Costume Storage and Display by Margaret T. Ordonez introduces the reader to the basic aspects of caring for historic fashion. He/she will learn the foundations to caring for and displaying clothing.

If your giftee wants to get serious about collecting fashion or textiles, Preserving Textiles: A Guide for the Nonspecialist by Harold F. Mailand and Dorothy Stites Alig takes things up a notch. This book covers more technical aspects of collection management and exhibition. I highly recommend this guide.

P.S. More gift ideas on my Pinterest board!

Holly and ivy graphic by MyCuteGraphics.

Touring OSU’s Costume Collection

This past weekend I attended the Costume Society of America Midwestern Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. I missed Friday’s session, which included some great tours to Lane Bryant and a mascot manufacturer, but got to hear all the papers on Saturday.

Plus Saturday’s session included a tour of Ohio State University’s Historic Costume and Textiles Collection. Here’s a taste of the tour snapped with my iPhone.

The picture above is a 1940s parachute silk wedding dress, a phenomenon of the WWII era. Silk was in short supply due to rationing, so some wedding dresses were made out of unused parachutes. The beauty of the dress above is that the dressmaker left in the original parachute label, so it is rich for researchers to study.

The pants and bodice in the lefthand picture were designed by Gianni Versace, and the dress on the right is a Paco Rabanne. Both are quintessential looks by each of their designers.

The tour was fantastic, and it was great to see so many of OSU’s treasures. Also, it was a bonus for me to see how the collection was organized and stored, so I can get ideas how to improve the collection I care for.

photos by Jacqueline WayneGuite