COOL: Presenting A Cooling ImageHELENE ALEXANDER & R. HARRIS Book Number: 85785 Product format: Hardback
From the luxurious medieval languor of Lady Ashburton, photographed as Tennyson's Enid and clothed 'in apparel like the day' for the Devonshire House Ball of 1897, to the understated elegance of Miss Mary Latta's fashionable attire for presentation at court in 1923, the Lafayette Archive of the V&A Museum records the transformation of fashion. Here is the rigid corsetry of Queen Victoria's era to the fluid dropped waists of the 1920s flapper. The Lafayette Studio of Bond Street and the Fan Museum in Greenwich have published this spectacular book organised by chapters including Dressed for a Portrait, Fancy Dress, Dressed for a Coronation and Dressed for Presentation at Court, together with a glossary of terms explaining 'Goldfish', a very fine translucent mother of pearl and 'Vignette' a small illustration, not usually the primary pictorial design. Considered by the press to be one of the best dressed women in Society, Mrs Frank Billings Kellogg was the wife of the recently appointed American Ambassador to the Court of St. James. In 1924 she wore 'a draped gown of orchid mauve satin charmeuse, and at the waist a narrow diamanté embroidered belt. From the shoulders in front hung shoulder straps of diamanté embroidery. A train of orchid mauve and silver woven lame, draped with old family lace.' She is carrying a dyed rhea feather fan. There is a large salmon-tinted ostrich feather fan, and often the explanations show how the fan was strategically placed to make the wearer appear somewhat slimmer. The feathers were often changed over being dyed to match the garments. We are treated to a tiny glimpse of the lives of famous wives including the highly elegant and poised 22 year old Madame Koo, wife of the Chinese Minister in London and Baroness Hayashi from Japan, Emily Countess of St. Germans and Charlotte Josephine, Marchioness of Winchester. Woodcut illus, spectacular full page mono illustrations of the wearers and hundreds of examples of the fans, each object recalling the opulence and taste of this brief period of historic and social transformation. Expertly restored photographs. 116pp, 8¾" x 11½".
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Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £9.50