This broad compilation of evolving fashion trends makes for a valuable addition to any reference collection.

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A guide to the evolution of fashion trends of the past two centuries, useful to costume designers as well as amateur and professional genealogists.

Drawing on her decades of experience as a Hollywood costume designer, as well as two years as a columnist for Ancestry Magazine, the author presents a broad overview of 19th- and 20th-century dress. Her book, which targets genealogists, would be especially helpful for nonexperts who may want to learn more about their historic family photographs. Descriptions of each era’s dominant silhouettes, hats, sleeves and fabric details are illustrated by the author’s line drawings, hundreds of which appear throughout the book. These sketches are essential to understanding the difference between a toque and a cloche or the posture produced by the evolving corset in the early 20th century. The author’s deep knowledge of fashion, the book’s greatest strength, is evident in her cataloging of a broad range of men’s, women’s and children’s styles. Tidbits from the history of fashion, such as a re-evaluation of corset measurements that unzips the idea of the 16-inch waist, will also provide the amateur genealogist or costume designer with a window into the past. The book’s forays into social history and analysis, however, are less compelling. Zoot suits are dismissed as a mere outlying trend, and anti-fur activists are criticized for embarrassing fur-wearing women with their attacks. Queen Victoria gets a bit too much credit for changing courtship practices—“Since, as Queen, she had proposed to him, from that time on women in civilized societies decided to choose their own husbands”—and the oft-repeated myth of a “closet tax” driving people to store their clothes in cabinets gets a mention. There’s also, at times, a note of disdain for women who don’t conform to the author’s sense of taste, including derision for sausage curls on older women and frequent references to “fashion die-hards” who embrace trends beyond their prescribed end dates. The descriptions of historic styles and their accompanying illustrations, however, constitute a useful resource that outweighs the book’s shortcomings.

This broad compilation of evolving fashion trends makes for a valuable addition to any reference collection.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0983576167

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Flashback Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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