Saturday, March 9, 2013

Non-Fiction Review: The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior

Pages: 128
Genre: Non-Fiction, Fashion
Release Date: 01/11/07
Publisher: Abrams
I bought it online.

Much has been written about fashion, in all its aspects, but i do not think any couturier has ever before attempted to compile a dictionary on the subject. -- from The Little Dictionary of Fashion

Christian Dior reveals the secrets of style in this charming handbook that no woman should be without. An indispensable guide that covers everything from what to wear to a wedding and how to tie a scarf to how to walk with grace, The Little Dictionary of Fashion is full of timeless tips. From afternoon frocks and accessories to traveling and tweed, Dior's expertise ensures every girl will know the three fundamentals of fashion: simplicity, grooming, and good taste. Published for the Victoria and Albert Museum's Golden Age of Couture exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dior's "New Look" and illustrated with delightful photographs and drawings, this handbag-sized classic is the perfect gift for style-conscious women.

Being as interested in vintage fashion as I am I thought this would be a cute read. It's a book that has been referenced in the likes of Vogue Magazine as a must-have and I thought that maybe my wardrobe could do with some old-fashioned structure. As usual with an old-fashioned guide 'The Little Dictionary of Fashion' is cute, half helpful and half full of questionable nonsense.

'The Little Dictionary of Fashion' has some very nice black white illustrations and photographs. The overall design of the book is very classy and some of the things Dior writes really add to the aesthetic of it all. It really is what it should be as far as visuals go. And, with quotes like 'I love separates. They are charming, young, useful and gay' it is definitely the cute sort of book you can gift to that girly friend who's always watching old movies and going out to fancy dinners. 

Admittedly the book is handy. Dior makes some good points and has some helpful advice. There is a big emphasis placed on dressing Elegantly. Dressing in neutral colours, simple shapes and not adding too much colour are all points that are made. There is also advice on how to wear some of those 50s or 60s trends like cocktail hats, fur and feathers, as well as some advice for different figures and what sort of clothes you should take if you are travelling. Some of this is very relevant to modern times, especially if you are part of the vintage society and don't have any sort of guide to follow. 

Some of the advice is awfully obvious though. "The Young Look is very nice on young people." for example. There were definitely a few times when I said "duh" to the book. This may have been helpful back in the day when fashion advice was not as readily available to the masses, but to me many of the points seemed very obvious and pointless. Having said that, I can think of a few daft people who wear any old thing that should probably give this book a read...

And, then we have the weird nonsense stuff about how purple makes you look older, how every girl should own something pink and how leopard print is only for vixens. Times sure have changed... Dior also contradicts himself by saying that it shouldn't matter how much money you have and later on talking about quality being elegance. 

Overall, I think it was really cute book for someone that wants to step back in time and see what was considered good or bad dressing. I give it 3/5 stars because it was lacking in practicality. Would make a cute gift, but is not to be taken too seriously.

Your Favourite blogger,

No comments: