This year has produced a number of interesting books on fashion that are as rich in textual content as most are in gorgeous visuals. Here are a few that I plan to, quite literally, check out this winter break.
I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, With a Twist by Betty Halbreich – What a great title and with glowing reviews to match! In this memoir, Betty Halbreich, Berdorf-Goodman’s head personal shopper and stylist, recounts nearly 40 years of dressing the rich and famous. She also candidly comments on her journey to from sheltered privilege to sartorial savvy. Here’s a review from the Wall Street Journal
Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton – Two novelists and an artist surveyed over 600 women – young, old and from all walks of life – on their relationships with clothing, dressing and fashion. The result is the book Women in Clothes, which contains full and partial interviews with the subjects, photos of personal clothing items, diagrams, and even poems all stemming from the evolving set of questions posed by the authors. I can’t wait to read it. Here’s the New Yorker‘s take on the book.
Worn Stories by Emily Spivak – A long a similar line as the above title, Worn Stories explores people’s relationship with clothing. Emily Spivak- who is currently the writer of the Smithsonian’s blog Threaded – has been collecting personal narratives about clothing on her own blog (also entitled Worn Stories) since 2010. Sixty of these stories are published in the book and interestingly, Heidi Julavits (coauthor of Women in Clothes) is among those who contributed a clothing tale. Emily Spivak also curates a blog on clothing and memory called Sentimental Value that pulls from Ebay item descriptions. You can listen to an interview with Spivak here.
All three title were released in September of 2014, but I only just now have time to read them.
Sandra encouraged me to share the article, “Off the Cuff: How Fashion Bloggers Find and Use Information”, that was recently published in Art Documentation. This is an article that I worked together with two librarians from Purchase College, SUNY. We hope that you enjoy it. Off the Cuff Art Documentation
Europeana Fashion has a new look! We are still presenting the fashion-and costume collections from European museums and institutions (over 540.000 items by now!), but you can now explore the collections in a completely new way. Let us fill you in on what is new.
The first new feature is the theme section on top. You can discover items from the collections curated around a specific topic, such as prints or fashion illustration. The themes will be regularly refreshed, but you can still browse all previous themes via the theme menu on top. Immediately below the theme section, you can browse even more items gathered around more generic topics, such as sketches or couture.
The Europeana Fashion Tumblr is also part of the new website. For nearly two years, museums and brands around Europe have used our Tumblr as a platform to showcase content that has never been published online before. You can now see the latest posts on Tumblr directly on the website.
Searching the collections in Europeana Fashion has also been altered. Items are now presented in a visual way, similar to Pinterest or Tumblr, letting you browse items more intuitively. However, when hovering over an image you can see a description of the item. You can still rely on the trustwhorthy information provided by the museum or institution hosting the item.
At Europeana Fashion, we continue to make improvements to make discovering Europe’s best fashion-and costume collections an even better experience every time you visit. Do let us know your thoughts via firstname.lastname@example.org or #eurfashion.
Description: “Horst P. Horst (1906-99) created images that transcend fashion and time. He was a master of light, composition and atmospheric illusion, who conjured a world of sensual sophistication. In an extraordinary sixty-year career, his photographs graced the pages of Vogue and House and Garden under the one-word photographic byline ‘Horst’. He ranks alongside Irving Penn and Richard Avedon as one of the pre-eminent fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century.”
The exhibition website is enhanced with supplemental information, including timelines, a fashion photography Pinterest board, and videos such as the one below about the V&A archival preparations for the show.