How many of us are sticking with our resolutions?
I did fairly well… I made it a month. *Might* have slipped just a little now that its February. A particular dress I’ve been coveting for forever… on sale… But you know what you do when you fall down on a goal like that? You pick your self up and you carry on- So back on the horse I go.
The End of Fashion, Terri Agins
This is the seminal book on late 20th century fashion, specifically looking at the fallout from the democratization of design. The primary focus is on American designers and the effect of the American business model on manufacturing, retailing, and licensing of the garment industry as a whole. Terri Agins picks up the the story of the business of fashion where the magazines leave off and uses the biographies of individual designers and companies to look at sources of influence or change to the industry as a whole.
Overdressed, Elizabeth Cline*
Ms. Cline strikes me as being from a different generation (read: younger) then the other authors in this list and has a different perspective on a perceived difference between ‘inexpensive’ vs. ‘cheap’ when it comes to fashion. She takes us down the rabbit hole of the garment industry as she examines the contents of her own closet. Well written and very entertaining, this book relies heavily on the previous title by Terri Agins which sometimes irked me but the chapter on 2nd hand clothing market was eyeopening and more then made up for any complaints I may have had. It is a good read and if you don’t tend to read a lot of nonfiction this is the most accessible.
The Travels of a T-Shirt, Pietra Rivoli
This on is largely an economics book but reads with a narrative like Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation for textiles. I cannot recommend this book enough. The whole history of globalization is neatly summed up in a look into the textile industry as the author follows the path of a single t-shirt from a cotton seeds in Texas to garment factories in China and every step in between.
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster, Dana Thomas
Fascinating. A good hard look at branding in the luxury economy, I will never read a Vogue magazine the same way again. Well written, this is more about the luxury economy then it is the garment industry or about design. This bookends beautifully with Teri Agin’s End of Fashion, taking a more global look at industry and branding.
Apologies for not providing links to these titles, they are all available as either print or ebooks but I encourage you to check your local Library- if they don’t have a title in the catalog most will offer and Inter-Library Loan to find get it for you.
* There is an interview with Cline over at the Coletterrie, thanks so much to Karen/Fringe Association for leading me to it! P.S. If you’re not reading the Fringe Association blog already anyway you need to.