Saturday, November 3, 2012

Non-fiction Review: Minxy Vintage by Kelly Doust

Minxy Vintage: How to Customise and Wear Vintage Clothing
Pages: 255
Genre: Non-fiction, Fashion/DIY
Release Date: October 2011
Publisher: Murdoch books
I bought it online.

Do you browse through vintage or retro clothes at flea markets and wish you had the knack to breathe new life into the dated frocks, skirts and smocks?

Kelly Doust’s Minxy Vintage will help you transform these items – and indeed any item in your wardrobe, ripe for reinvention. In Minxy Vintage, Kelly combines her love of fashion with creativity, transforming more than 50 damaged, ill-fitting and past-it clothes into modern, wearable pieces.

 This is not just a book about loving vintage fashion: it’s about seeing the wonderful possibilities for updating all old clothes, and how to look fabulous doing so, no matter what your age, location or budget.

I absolutely adored Doust's other book 'A Life in Frocks' which is a memoir about her life (so far) and the clothes she wore during it. While I found 'Minxy Vintage' to be charming (like a cup of tea and a chat with an old friend), I was a little disappointed as far as the "How to" aspect of this book was concerned.

'Minxy Vintage' has a description and tag line promising the reader a guide to vintage fashion, alteration and restoration. The book is filled with pictures and stories behind many items/outfits, the author Kelly Doust has bought and customised. I like that she included items that she has bought and fixed up herself, rather than vague "How to" instructions  like I sometimes include on here. With pictures, it's proof that she has actually done this.

So she includes pictures and a full page of writing about where she got it and how she likes to wear it, And, how she customised it, but this is where there is a lack of "How to". There is no real tutorial here. There is a list of what she did, which is slightly helpful, definitely inspirational, but lacks real detailed explanation. For a skilled seamstress, this book could be quite helpful, but to the beginner, could be difficult to follow. There are lots of words that people who haven't done much sewing before wouldn't understand, and if they did, they might not understand how to actually create that effect.

I really liked the things she came up with and seeing the clothes transform. The book (whether it's actually helpful or not) is worth it for the inspiration factor. It's visually pleasing and the layout of the book itself is quite charming. The descriptions of the outfits she imagines or the things she looks for are also very luxe. Some of the outfits, were probably a more suited for a costume party than anything else, but were visually pleasing nonetheless.

I think the most helpful thing in this book was the guide to finding vintage items that are worth buying. How to tell the treasure from the trash and how to identify the era or place the item may have originated from. This is something that I have trouble with when shopping for second-hand clothing sometimes and a task that a lot of people I know find almost impossible.

Overall, I think this book is worth 4/5 stars. It's brimming with ideas and prettiness. I think the main problem I have with the book is the lack of explanation and pictures when it comes to the customisation of the garment. I did enjoy it though, And will certainly be checking out some more books by Kelly Doust in the future.

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