A useful, experience-based accompaniment to a fashion class, but less effective as a stand-alone textbook.




A textbook-style guide to the basics of fashion design, aimed at tween and teen girls.

In this debut fashion textbook, Olinger guides students through the fundamental elements of fashion design and production, using a simple T-shirt as the focus of the lessons. The first section covers the design process, from creating a mood board, which incorporates inspirations and representations, to color selection and initial garment design. In the following sections, the focus shifts to the business side of the fashion industry, as students are led through cost analysis, sustainable production methods, an explanation of margin and retail markup, and marketing. The book concludes with a teachers’ guide that provides further guidance for the book’s hands-on lessons. Exercises throughout the book, such as describing the attributes of an ideal client and understanding the relationship between production volume and unit cost, provide a complementary theoretical framework for the practical activities. Though clearly intended for use in a classroom setting rather than as a stand-alone text, the book has its origins in a class taught by the author, and it seems best suited to teachers who already have a substantial knowledge of the fashion production process. For instance, one exercise asks students to draw conclusions about the nature of cotton harvesting based on a photograph of workers in a cotton field and a photograph of a cotton boll, yet no information is provided that could help either the student or the teacher evaluate those conclusions. Citations and suggestions for further exploration are included in footnotes, but not always effectively: In directing students to a YouTube video, the text instructs them to “Go to www.youtube.com > Forever Tango—A Evaristo Carriego.” The back of the textbook includes a helpful “Guidelines for Teachers” section as well as appendices that recommended additional skills fashion students should pursue in the scientific and technical fields.

A useful, experience-based accompaniment to a fashion class, but less effective as a stand-alone textbook.

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9894467-2-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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