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Showing posts from June, 2018

Collectable Names and Designs in Women's Shoes by Tracy Martin Pen & Sword

Did you know that ninety-three pieces of footwear were found in King
Tutankhamen's possessions? Tracy Martin relates lots of fascinating anecdotes in her short history of shoes. As Martin writes, these fashion items can epitomise an era in designs. They bring back memories of the music, films and social life of the time. Collecting shoes can be both interesting and lucrative.

 Tracy Martin studies the great designers, such as Ferragamo and Perugia.  She also writes about new designers and she gives tips for collecting several different types of shoes. This is a useful book for beginners and people who have started collecting.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Louisa May Alcott Challenge

There isn't much time left for this  but I hope to read and review An Old-Fashioned Girl and watch the film which is free on YouTube!

Jabbed by Brett Wilcox

Brett Wilcox presents a good argument that it is improvements in sanitation, clean water, clean air and other living conditions which have eradicated or lessened many diseases, and not vaccines. Although we are told that most vaccines are safe and effective with either minor side-effects or none at all, he writes that they are, instead, positively dangerous. Even the flu vaccine can have ingredients which cause major side-effects, especially when given to pregnant women.  He also writes about the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry, its influence on governments and its limited liability for injuries.

The problem is that this is hard to read. This is partly because the allegations are so horrifying and partly because it is so dense. For example, there are several excerpts from studies.

I don't want to get into arguments about vaccines, but I was a bit amazed to be told that there are 74 mandated vaccines for babies in California. Also, I was lucky not to be given a vaccinatio…

Women Design by Libby Sellers

By Boberger. Photo:Bengt Oberger [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Women Design celebrates the achievements of some of the great women designers in a patriarchal industry.  When asked about important designers, most people only name men. This is an excellent addition then to the books about women architects, industrial designers and textile designers.

The interesting articles include biographies of Althea McNish who brought a 'riot of colour' into the drab post-war world of Britain with her tropical textile designs, Lella Vignelli who took 'modernist designs with European sensibilities' to New York with her husband and Lora Lamm who epitomised the La Bella Vita era with her playful graphic designs.There is also the incredible architect Zaha Hadid.

This is a great book for anyone interested in the world of design. I was a bit confused however by the mention of the Trinidad artist Lord Kitchener. I think that Sellers s…

Know It All Fashion The 50 Key Modes, Garments, and Designers, Each Explained in Under a Minute by Rebecca Arnold Quarto Publishing Group – Wellfleet Press Wellfleet Press

21stCenturyGreenstuff at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This book probably lives up to its name. An excellent introduction to the fashion world, it contains sections on every aspect from haute couture to street style.  There are short explanations of the intersections between fashion and art, fashion and the movies and fashion and music, as well as succinct biographies of some of the great designers, such as Marc Jacobs. It also includes useful glossaries. This is certainly worth buying if you are interested in the history of fashion. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I especially liked the section about the Teddy Boys and their influence on fashion.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

EDITIONPaperbackISBN9781577151746PRICE$14.99 (USD)

Icons of Style A Century of Fashion Photography by Paul Martineau

This book is an excellent study of the history of fashion photographers and trends from the early 20th century.  Martineau explains the transition from fashion drawings to photography and how the great photographers changed the world of fashion and art in each era. For example, Edward Steichen began his career photographing the lavish designs of Poiret but in the 20s he focused on his love of naturalness and simplicity and started taking outdoor shots.  He also used chic, independent women models, such as Marion Morehouse and Lee Miller.

A useful book for anyone studying fashion or photography, this contains beautiful photos from each era.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Louis XIV, the Real Sun King by Jules Harper and Aurora von Goeth Pen & Sword

This book was a little dull at first, but it soon livened up with the account of Louis's fascinating love life, with the beautiful Mancini sisters and Louise de Valliere, who seemed to be having affairs one minute and guiltily rushing to church the next.  There are chapters devoted to every aspect of the great French king's life, including his patronage of the arts, his wars,  and the building of the magnificent Versailles Palace.  It is clearly and simply written but an interesting read.
While Louis XIV was undoubtedly a despot, he could be quite enlightened. There is evidence that he refused the offer to use a biological weapon, for example. Louis thought that 'the means of destroying life were sufficiently numerous', and paid the chemist who made the discovery to keep it to himself. The great king was also the first to introduce an award for 'exceptional officers' of the military which could also be granted to non-nobles.  He also founded a large home and h…