Posts Tagged ‘Cally Blackman’

When I was taking a fashion history course earlier this year, I was determined to avoid the Internet for any research I had to do. Why? Because I prefer books and thanks to the many fashion history books I’ve collected over the years, it was easy to keep the promise I made to myself.

One book I didn’t own (and it would have been quite handy) is 100 Years of Fashion by Cally Blackman (Laurence King Publishing, 2020).

Blackman, a fashion historian, university lecturer, and author, digs into fashion history from 1900 to circa 2000. She discusses high society, the everyday lady, designers, and all the trends from the S-Bend silhouette to Grunge.

The book is divided into two sections: 1901-1959 and 1960 onward, making the subject accessible for the serious student and the casual fashion admirer. Both sections include an overview of the fashion trends of each decade and the historical context for those trends. A complete index makes for quick and easy research.

Another reason I prefer fashion books to a search on the Internet is I can more easily study the provided photos. Similar to an exhibition catalogue the bulk of 100 Years of Fashion is photos and illustrations with captions. The over 400 images provide a visual documentation of twentieth century fashion history. Such examples are essential for fashion study, not to mention the eye candy factor.

The compact size of the book makes it a great choice to take on the road if attending a fashion conference or traveling to take a course (yes, one day the pandemic will be over).

I noticed while researching various fashion history topics that each book I went to offered a little different angle, giving me a more complete understanding. In other words, you cannot own too many books on fashion!

Books are on everyone’s gift list this year and 100 Years of Fashion is an excellent choice for anyone interested in fashion. Support your local independent book store! Most will special order whatever title you’re looking for.

Let the holiday shopping begin.

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Sylvia Pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst

Many suffragists spend more money on clothes than they can comfortably afford, rather than run the risk of being considered outré, and doing more harm to the cause.

– Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), English suffragette.

I recently read an article in The Guardian by fashion author and lecturer Cally Blackman about how women of the suffragette movement recognized the role of fashion in reaching their goals. “Haunted by the stereotypical image of the ‘strong-minded woman’ in masculine clothes, pebble-thick glasses and galoshes created by cartoonists, they chose instead to present a fashionable, feminine image,” says Blackman.

The approach worked, with increasing membership and a certain cachet in sporting the suffragette color scheme – purple for loyalty, white for purity, and green for hope. This early branding was helped along by Selfridges and Liberty department stores, who sold tricolor striped ribbon to adorn hats and make belts and badges. Trained as an artist at the Royal College of Art, Sylvia Pankhurst designed for the cause much of what today we would call marketing material.

Suffragette_posterSpeaking of all this women’s lib stuff, did you know that October 23rd is the US release of the film Suffragette? The London premiere a couple of weeks ago was quite the affair with protestors storming the red carpet. Not to protest the movie but simply to use the event to bring attention to their cause against domestic violence.

In Suffragette our own Meryl Streep stars as Sylvia Pankhurst. Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan round out the cast.

What I want to know is – will we see 1900s-influenced fashions next year?

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