Tuesday, 3 November 2015

FACTUAL REVIEW: Fashion Victims - Alison Matthews David

Release Date: 24/09/15
Publisher:  Bloomsbury


From insidious murder weapons to blaze-igniting crinolines, clothing has been the cause of death, disease and madness throughout history, by accident and design. Clothing is designed to protect, shield and comfort us, yet lurking amongst seemingly innocuous garments we find hats laced with mercury, frocks laden with arsenic and literally drop-dead gorgeous gowns.

Fabulously gory and gruesome, Fashion Victims takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the lethal history of women s, men s and children s dress, in myth and reality. Drawing upon surviving fashion objects and numerous visual and textual sources, encompassing louse-ridden military uniforms, accounts of the fiery deaths of Oscar Wilde s half-sisters and dancer Isadora Duncan s accidental strangulation by entangled scarf; the book explores how garments have tormented those who made and wore them, and harmed animals and the environment in the process. Vividly chronicling evidence from Greek mythology to the present day, Matthews David puts everyday apparel under the microscope and unpicks the dark side of fashion.

Fashion Victims is lavishly illustrated with over 125 images and is a remarkable resource for everyone from scholars and students to fashion enthusiasts.


We’ve all heard the expression “Fashion Victim” however I’ve always wondered where it originated and reading this book pretty much helps you discover the hidden truths that were under our noses, such as the dyes utilised and their origins through to various garbs that at certain periods were all the rage.

It’s a great book, full of illustrations and presents what to some would seem like just plain information in an entertaining as well as making it accessible to readers. All round a top notch title and one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading as well as helping me understand how much times have changed and thank the gods that I live in the modern era.

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