History of Women’s Fashion, illustrated by Sanna Mander. Big Picture Press (Candlewick), 2015. $17.99. NON FICTION.
This history of women’s fashion focuses primarily on the twentieth century. However, there is a very brief overview chronology of women’s fashion with lovely black silhouette illustrations from the 1300s to the 1900s: thus highlighting the different shapes that women’s dresses took. There is also a section of the “Ten Things that started fashion trends” with a brief paragraph on the following: Industrial Revolution, The Ballet Russes and Paul Poiret, World War I, The Jazz Age and flapper fashions, Chanel, World War II, Rock’n’roll and the teenager, Mary Quant miniskirt, Punk, and The Internet. These paragraphs show how science, technology, and even politics have influenced how we dress. The bulk of the book, and by far the most interesting part, is an 8-page fold-out of illustrations clothing, shoes, and accessories from twentieth century women’s fashion starting with the corset in 1901 and ending with Christian Louboutin Shoes in 2013. Illustrator Sanna Mander does an excellent job of representing women of all ethnicities and shapes in her illustrations. The only cumbersome part of the book is that the explanation of the item is on the back of the 8-page illustration and you have to flip to the reverse side and then locate its silhouette and explanation. This is a nontraditional book in that the cover and pages are made out of a thick paper and the pages fold out to a chart. It would be a great reference for the classroom, but might not hold up circulating.
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.