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Sunday, December 19, 2010

le book review - Seventeenth and Eighteen Century Fashion in Detail by Avril Hart and Susan North

I had seen this book at a craft show earlier this year and it looked lovely. Lots of lovely close ups of details of beautiful mantuas and sacques, flounces, trims, draping.  Just gorgeous.  And good line drawings of the whole dress or garment.
But I put it back because there were NO photos of the whole garment.  WHY?
I don't know. It seems a seriously deficiency to me.
However given that these items from the V&A collection are in fact very old and not suitable for display perhaps placing them on manniquins for the photos would be too much activity for their fragile nature. le sigh.
But since I love detail and love this era I gave in for Christmas and treated myself (something I do a lot of).
(What a strange word 'treated' is! It sounds a tad wrong, like it should be 'trat' like 'seated' or 'sat' only that would sound worse.)
And I DO love those lovely detail photos. I haven't read it right through yet but the cover alone is enough to take my breath away.  Divine.


  1. I've seen that book, it's really nice! Yes, I wish there were larger pictures and details...
    There is also "Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail" by the same publishers, too - it's really nice - lots of beautiful clothing!
    <3 Julia <3

  2. Yes I saw that one too. Too many tempting ones available. I have 'Queen of Fashion: what Marie-Antoinette wore to the revolution' on order so I must be good. Having been pretty bad lately!

  3. I love this book, but I have the exact same complaint about it. The line drawings are very helpful, and I know I can go look up the item on the V&A's website, but I reallllly wish they'd included at least a small photo of what the whole garment looks like! Still a very useful book when paired with others, especially for crazy people who are wanting to do embroidery, hand-covered buttons, couching, etc.

  4. We have owned this book for quite some time. We too wish that the entire garment was pictured, along with the details, but still, what a feast for the eyes! We love all our of period costuming books, and they have been the sources of much dreaming and inspiration!

  5. I know. Those pics of flounces really get to me!