14 February 2014

Amber Jane Butchart's Fashion Miscellany

I feel incredibly proud of my friend Amber upon the publication of her first book, Amber Jane Butchart's Fashion Miscellany. Remember this guest post on dressmaking patterns in the 1930s? That was Amber. Now she has this absolute beauty to her name, a book which is such a pleasure to read.

It's jam-packed full of interesting nuggets and anecdotes about the history of fashion. For example, a brief history of polka dots - just a few paragraphs of reading and I feel like an expert. Did you know that dotted fabric design has such a short history because of the previous association of spots with disease? And that the style became popular in the mid-nineteenth century with the Polka dance craze? Other fascinating sections include how to tie a bow tie, a handy guide to pronouncing the names of famous fashion designers, a brief history of the high heel shoe, and an insight into Victorian mourning craze.

I inhaled the contents of this book within one sitting, but it's also the kind of book you can dip in and out of easily. I hesitate to call it a "loo book", as it's too good for that! In any case, I can see myself buying various copies of this lovely book as gifts, it's so delightful.

Have you read any good fashion-related books recently?

[Soundtrack: 'Love to Love You Baby' by Donna Summer - just cos it's Valentine's Day... ohhh...]