Hello friends! Hope you are all well! Are any of you struck with the back-to-school feeling over the last few weeks? I am every year, but this year I’ve actually returned back to school full-time, and my first research assignment sent me into a flurry of excitement as I dug through the library for information about ancient weaving techniques! As I looked through books of textile research, I was reminded that I’d received a review copy of this book some time ago and had totally forgotten to share it with you in the hustle and bustle of packing and moving.
Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook (Amazon affiliate link here; Indiebound link here) was sent to me by Laurence King Publishing. It’s a bit different from some of the books I’ve received from them- it doesn’t contain any sewing patterns, but it’s not really a textbook, either. What it is, essentially, is a 350-page visual dissection of 20th-century vintage clothing.
The book begins with a photo index of all the garments that appear in the book. There’s a shot of the front and the back, and a little blurb about the era, fabrication, and country of origin.
I chose to feature one of my favorite outfits in this blog post, a linen coat and dress ensemble worn in England around 1927. As you can see in the photo, the page numbers for the detail shots are listed next to the original garment photos so if a garment piques your interest, you can easily find closeups.
After the index, detail shots of the garments are arranged by feature (for example, necklines, as seen above), so you can browse by section and look for inspiration all in one place.
Isn’t it wild that these motifs are printed? I wonder how common that was in 1927!
I really enjoy these detailed photographs- it’s a bit like visiting a costume exhibit in a museum, but without feeling too nervous that a guard will yell at you for getting too close to the garments! (Is it just me or are you also struck with a nearly impossible-to-curb desire to touch clothes in a museum???)
This dress may be nearly 90 years old, but I could totally wear this today! It’s so timeless!
Look at the beautiful shape of that sleeve! Drool! The book includes sections on necklines, collars, sleeves, pockets, fastenings & buttonholes, hems, darts, stitching & fitting devices, pleats, frills & flounces, embellishment, surface, and construction.
To summarize, if you are a person who loves to look at photos of cool vintage clothes, you’ll love this book. If you’re less inspired by photos and more into line drawings or touching physical objects, you probably won’t. But it seems like a book that would be really inspiring to those of you who enjoy hacking patterns and including unique details- there are plenty of things here to get your creative juices flowing! (I’m still daydreaming about a cream-colored jacket with a bias-cut striped collar… I forgot to take a photo of it and I’ve mislaid my camera, oops!). This also seems like a great book to request for your local library.
Here are a few more details from different garments that really intrigued me:
If ever a sleeve was edible, surely this is it!! It is PERFECT.
I mean… that’s some mod goodness right there! Yes, yes, and yes!
I basically want this pocket on ALL of my clothes.
Anybody seen any inspiring vintage clothing lately? Which details stood out to you?