THE RAG RACE by Bernard Roscho


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Clothes are a necessity, but fashion is a luxury""-- but author Roscho contends that woman's need for the luxury reveals a good deal about her, her place in society, and her relationship with men. Hence How New York and Paris Run the Breakneck Business of Dressing American Women provides social commentary by way of Broadway, Seventh and Madison Avenue, and Paris. Manufacturers, designers, models, middlemen, buyers, editors offer a view of the business from varied addresses and outlooks, but come up with a composite of the outer-wear world. Major concentration is on the garment center, ""probably the most unrestrained example of free enterprise found outside of an economics text"": between Herald and Times Square a $3 million a year business thrives in fevered competition for Fords (the dresses that go) or knock-offs (copies of Paris originals). The interchange of ideas between Paris and Seventh, the difference between fashion for the few and for the many; the routes fashion takes to make its way to milady's back, the reasons she buys (probed with more earnestness than flattery) and the need for fashion changes (and new deception) are all part of a rather sober-sided account of a wild and woolly business world. Informative.

Publisher: nk & Wagnalls