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Thursday, April 24, 2008

A new vintage book

My darling Jules is, well, such a darling to me. He gave up his Eleven for Ten Unity Books card so I could get Shopping for Vintage: The definitive guide to vintage fashion by Funmi Odulate.

What a pretty, pretty book. Even if the pages only had the text 'All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy', I'd still love this book because it's so pretty.

And so ends my first ever book review.

P.S I especially like that the author points out that all old clothing is not 'vintage'; I get so cross when people call secondhand tat 'vintage', when clearly it's just dirty old secondhand tat. The basic rule is that clothing needs to be more than 25 years old to be called vintage. But if you want to be fussy - and by goodness I do - antique clothing is anything earlier than about 1920, vintage clothing is from about 1920 to about the early 80s, and the term retro usually refers to casual ready to wear from the 60s and 70s.

It also has some fantastic hints on how to identify what period clothing is from and super sections on identifying particularly influential designers' clothes. Fashion is broken down by decade, starting in 1890, and while the blurb on each designer is quite short, enough information is provided for the reader to go and find out more about what they're interested in.

Almost half of the book is taken up with a world-wide directory of vintage shops and markets. When I flicked through the book, this actually put me off. I thought that there was little point me buying a book that was half-consumed by content that wasn't useful to me, but at $25, I was prepared to risk it; surely the overwhelming prettiness of the book would make up for more than this?

And I was right to do so. In the directory is a list of online vintage stores, plus some of the other vintage stores and markets also have websites and/or email addresses. Brilliant!

This is a useful book for the fledgling vintage maven, a handy resource for us anoraks, and a delight to have on the bookshelf.

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