Tag Archives: fashion 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.

Figure Poses for Fashion Illustrators by Sha Tahmasebi

20 Mar

Scan, trace, copy: 250 templates for professional results

What a fascinating thing the imagination is. Without need for evaluating budget, practicality or feasibility, one can invent all sorts of wild and wonderful things and allow them to exist happily in their own mind’s eye. Unfortunately for fashion designers, this creativity needs to translate into fabulous drawings if it is ever going to manifest itself in a show stopping garment. With this in mind, Sha Tahmasebi has composed Figure Poses for Fashion Illustrators to teach designers how to express their ideas with paper and pencil.

Divided into three main chapters, Dynamic Fashion Figures, Basic Garment Blocks and Rendering Techniques, Sha teaches her readers how to sketch the body in a number of positions and in relation to lots of different garments and styles of clothing. For instance, she may use this sexier silhouette for something like an underwear sketch. As well as providing tips and hints for how to sketch correctly, Sha also ensures that she provides lots of information about fashion terminology so that students understand the facts and figures behind their creations. This would prove particularly useful for the budding business fashionista.

Not only does Sha provide an understanding of shapes and garments, but she also gives the reader suggestions for creating the illusion of different textures in shading and how to digitally enhance images. By including finishing touches like these, sketches can be transformed into concepts and thus the reader is capable of presenting completely refined designs. A CD is included with over 250 copyright-free images and the pages of the book include lots of different sketched figures, allowing for easy scanning, tracing or copying. Spoilt for choice when deciding how to create these images, it is merely up to the student to inject the sketched figures with wild and wonderful clothes. This book would be a brilliant starting point for budding fashion illustrators as it contains a perfect combination of beginner’s tips and professional touches.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Figure Poses for Fashion Illustrators is published by Search Press and will teach you to sketch the perfect silhouette for just £14.99 – an absolute steal when considering the CD of images that is also included.

If you liked this book you may also like Fashion Drawing in Vogue by William Packer.

Express Makeup by Rae Morris

13 Mar

Imagine the scenario…

You are a hairdresser at a beauty pageant and one of the guest judges is Naomi Campbell. The model throws one of her infamous tantrums and her makeup artist storms out, prompting her to bid you “fix my lips”. At the very moment that you reach to apply a little gloss for her, the paparazzi burst into the room and capture you pampering her to perfection. From that day forward, you are an in demand makeup artist extraordinaire. This is the story of author, Rae Morris, a now world renowned makeup artist.

In a sequel to her first book, Makeup: the Ultimate Guide, Rae is attempting to share all of her artistry secrets with an attention to speed; “this book is for the women who are put off by the thought of how long it takes them to do their makeup”. Covering all bases, from helping you to compile an essential makeup kit to making suggestions that tailor it to your eyes, skin and hair, Rae is here to provide a starter guide to maintaining a fast and flawless beauty regime.

My favourite parts of the book were, in fact, two small statements that surprised me the most. Firstly was the recommendation that one invests in good eyebrow pencils because “besides the perfect foundation, your eyebrows are the most important feature on your face”. It seemed so trivial at the time, but since adapting the mantra of using an eyebrow pencil regularly I have really noticed how much varying your brows can completely alter your look. Secondly was the very logical suggestion that women own at least two shades of foundation. Your complexion changes with the seasons, so shouldn’t your foundation? Such a small thing to note but it had genuinely never occurred to me. It is also useful to vary your shade depending on whether you’ll be applying fake tan or not.

A thoroughly enjoyable book with lots of images and step-by-step guides to creating specific makeup looks, I would like to emphasise that this book is not a girlie indulgence… it is a necessity.

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

Express Makeup is published by Apple Press and will teach you all of the tricks of the trade for a mere £14.99.

If you liked this you may also like The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fabulousness by Bethanie Lunn.