Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Style Pattern Book, Autumn-Winter 1982

Look!  It's a model wearing a pie-crust frill collar.  It must be the early eighties!  This particular form of neck-wear was a favourite of the young Princess Diana and it quickly made its way into the shops and onto the streets.

Later in the decade the fashions would become less romantic and more assertive - and shoulder pads would grow, grow, grow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Koch & Co. Fashion Catalog, Fall and Winter 1892-3

It was cold day in Canberra today, with icy winds blowing down from the mountains.  Thus it was distinctly cheering to find the latest addition to my collection awaiting me on the doorstep when I got home.  The clothes illustrated in this fashion catalogue from the 1890s look enviably warm, too!  Later pages show a generous selection of coats, cloaks and cosy wrappers for home wear.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950

I should never visit a bookshop (at least with money in my purse) at lunchtime.

Or maybe I should visit them more often, because look what I found today! 

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 is the catalogue of an exhibition held by the Victoria & Albert Museum so it tends to be long on glossy photographs of the exhibits and short on text.  (As an aside, the photographs are gorgeous indeed, and make me envious of those who live within easy travelling distance of the V&A.  Here's hoping this exhibition eventually comes to Australia!)  However the book does contain a couple of essays: "The magic circle: designing the ballgown" by Oriole Cullen and "Ballgowns: the rituals of dressing up" by Sonnett Stanfill as well as an introduction by Magdalene Keaney.

Just one small thing puzzles me about this book.  Flicking through the plates I notice that most of the photographs are of gowns from the mid-1960s onwards.  Surely the golden era of the formal ballgown was in the 1950s!  However, this may reflect the V&A's collections as much as anything else.

The Ballgown: British Glamour Since 1950
London: V&A Publishing, 2012
ISBN 9781851776849

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fashion Service, January 1928

It's now officially winter in Australia!  Time to hunt out those warm, woolly garments.  This outfit, worn by a bright-eyed hiker on the cover of the first issue of Fashion Service for 1928, certainly looks cosy enough. Unfortunately the magazine doesn't offer patterns for the "heavy, hand-knitted sweater" or the "knitted tam and scarf" that accompany her "black kasha flannel skirt".