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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those interested in fashion, 11 Jan 2013
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This review is from: French Fashion Illustrations of the Twenties (Dover Fashion and Costumes) (Paperback)
Mainly drawings, rather than text, of costumes of the time but interesting and inspriing for artists and those interested fashion - especially if you can pick it up cheaply.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is fun AND useful too, 9 Mar 2012
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This review is from: French Fashion Illustrations of the Twenties (Dover Fashion and Costumes) (Paperback)
I have collected many books (many by Dover Publications as well) illustrating clothing styles of the 1920s. Some are more informational, but this one is certainly the most fun.

Catalogue reproductions such as Everyday Fashions of the Twenties As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs, and the B Altman and Company 1920s Fashions are very useful indeed, and include a lot of primary source text and information about prices and fabrics. The Sears one contains an extensive historical overview of the period and how its fashions evolved. These are fabulous sources of information regarding primarily American fashions as worn in the 1920s by ordinary American women.

However, what is largely missing from these excellent reproductions is the sense of fun and desire to push boundaries and turn fashion on its head, which also marked the 1920s era. Especially in France, of course ...where fashion really 'came from' during that era. French Fashion Illustrations of the Twenties certainly fills the 'fun' gap very nicely indeed.

There is no text in this book, apart from a brief introduction by the publisher, telling us that these illustrations were found in the magazine La Vie Parisienne, which 'assiduously noted the life of the beau monde.' The publisher goes on to say: "Sprinkled among its cartoons, satirical pieces, gossip and fashion news were elegant sketches" (reproduced in this book) "documenting the latest modes. Although the drawings were unsigned, it is clear that the fashions depicted in them were inspired by such masters as Poiret, Fortuny, Molyneux and Lanvin."

These black and while line drawings (pen and ink) are very clear and precise, and are grouped by year. While you must use your imagination to insert colour and fabric detail, the cut of the clothes, the decoration, and the way they were to be worn is incredibly well-depicted. As are hairstyles, shoes, hats, and all the other accessories which made up an entire look. Some of these looks are extreme indeed, but always fun. And no matter how extreme, you do get the feeling the outfits were actually wearable -- most of them, anyway. The American mail-order catalogs are sedate indeed, compared to these stylish and witty designs. This charming book is a must for anybody interested in 1920s fashion, and the different 'looks' which inspired 1920s French designers.
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French Fashion Illustrations of the Twenties (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
French Fashion Illustrations of the Twenties (Dover Fashion and Costumes) by Carol Belanger Grafton (Paperback - 1 Sep 1988)
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