Tag Archives: carlton books

Vintage Fashion Sourcebook by Emma Baxter-Wright, Karen Clarkson, Sarah Kennedy and Kate Mulvey

12 Jun

New Looks and Labels and Where to Find Them

It is always lovely to have a one-off piece in your wardrobe that stands out a mile and can’t be replaced. You are never going to turn up to a dinner party in the same dress as someone else if it was a hand-me-down from your grandmother, or be embarrassed that someone is wearing the same cuff links as you if you’ve spent an hour on your hands and knees rummaging through the accessories at a charity shop. This sentiment seems to have spread to the minds of the mainstream fashion consumer in the last few years, leading to an enormous rise in popularity of vintage clothing. With so many competitive sellers on hand to offer their designs, and so many frauds willing to charge a fortune for a modern replica, four industry insiders have decided to unveil all about the world of vintage fashion.

In a decade by decade guide to vintage fashions of the twentieth century, the Vintage Fashion Sourcebook allows the reader to absorb trends of a specific period in fashion and to trace exactly where styles originated. This is helpful on numerous levels; not only can the vintage buyer gain a clear indication of how old their garment really is, but they can style an outfit to replicate a specific era should they need to. All sorts of context is given to fashion as the decades are explored, for example the vinyl dresses of Paco Rabanne are compared to the “party atmosphere” of London in the 1960’s and the hip-hop music of the 1980’s attributed to a “passion for bling and sportswear”.

To conclude the vintage timeline, the Vintage Fashion Sourcebook then goes on to offer tips on how to choose a vintage garment wisely, how to care for vintage appropriately, and offers a number of suggestions in regard to the best vintage sellers in England. Most of the boutiques are based in London which is unsurprising but nonetheless annoying for people from other parts of the country, so the ladies have also included a number of online outlets to accommodate for those outside of the capital.

An enjoyable and easy to follow book, this short read would be a lovely gift to a vintage lover who is eager to learn about the origins of their favourite garments.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10 – great value for money.

Vintage Fashion Sourcebook is published by Carlton Books and is an essential buy for all lovers of vintage at a very reasonable £5.99.

If you liked this, you may also like Vintage Jewellery by Caroline Cox.


Vintage Jewellery by Caroline Cox

11 Jan

Following the success of books such as Vintage Shoes, Lingerie: a Lexicon of Style and Stiletto, Caroline Cox has returned with Vintage Jewellery, a book that explores jewellery from times gone by and how it has related to beauty and culture accordingly.

Caroline is a visiting professor at the London College of Fashion and also works as a cultural trends advisor at Vidal Sassoon. She uses her fashion expertise in Vintage Jewellery to give context and life to the wonderful photographs and illustrations in the book.

Discussing over 100 years of history, this book divides periods of time into decades and explores each 10 year period in terms of how jewellery looked and was celebrated. Here are a few of the highlights:

1940s: F for Fake
Featuring ‘Cocktail Hour’, a piece that divulges all about the all American fashions that prevailed in jewellery, saying of pieces that the general rule was “the more exuberant, the better”.

1950s: Mid-Century Sparkle
Featuring ‘French Figurative Jewellery’, spilling all of the secrets about how coveted French accessories were and those that looked even remotely French; Eiffel Tower pieces abounded by all accounts.

1960s: POP Goes the Future
Featuring ‘Hippie-Chic’, a section that talks about the significance of the Vietnam War and how jewellery was often used as a statement to represent free love.

More than just a photo album or collection of eye candy, this is a book that reminds you not to judge things at face value. Although celebrating the aesthetic qualities of jewellery (and including photographs of the likes of Twiggy and Cher to flaunt them with flair) it gives historical context as to how and why design has evolved in such ways. As well as providing elaborate and varied information about each period, chapters also conclude with a ‘Key looks of the decade’ page to summarise in a few simple words what each jewellery revolution entailed.

All in all, this book would be wonderful for ladies of all ages. From jewellery lovers to design admirers; older ladies wanting to reminisce about the 20s or young souls hoping to explore times gone by; this exquisite accessory timeline would be a luxurious and enjoyable addition to any girl’s bookshelf.

A la Mode Appraisal: 9/10

Vintage Jewellery is published by Carlton Books and can provide you with endless accessory inspiration for £25.00.