Fashion and Design Stories and Cult Books

My best journeys are in my imagination.  I made them on the sofa you’re sitting on, reading illustrated books…abandoning myself to the pleasures of interpretative knowledge… I have been to every country in my dreams. I only have to look at a beautiful book about India and I can sketch as if I had been there. Yves Saint Laurent

THIS WEEK ON TFB…

NATIVE AMERICAN CLOTHING- An illustrated History

PREMISE : FASHION CULTURAL APPROPRIATION ISSUES The purpose of this blog is to spread the knowledge of fashion culture. These are times where the subject of cultural appropriation in fashion is central in social media discussions (for example in Clubhouse talks) – unfortunately not enough on the traditional media.  Especially regarding the latest Louis Vuitton’s …

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DANCE PHOTOGRAPHY- Modernist images by Gordon Anthony

BALLET PHOTOGRAPHY AND ANTHONY GORDON In the 1930’s of the 20th century, dance photography was widespread. It investigated  beauty, the dynamics of movement, gestures, and poses. Dance photography researches and documents the full potentiality of the body.  It evokes the strain and the emotional strength indispensable to the dancer to expand the limits of his …

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SILVER MASTERS OF MEXICO – Modernist Jewelry from Taxco

AN AMERICAN IN TAXCO Sterling silver jewelry of modern Mexico found worldwide attention largely thanks to one man, William Spratling (1900-1967), American associate professor of architecture. Taxco was a lovely silver mining, hill town city located south west from Mexico City and the center of a hand-wrought silver industry in the 1930’s.  In 1931, William …

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JAPONISME:THE EUROPEAN CRAZE FOR THINGS JAPANESE

STYLE LOST IN TRANSLATION – Imitationv vs. Interpretation Fashion, like art and other artistic expressions, reflects the social and cultural changes undergoing in a society. French and English fashion houses could not ignore the craze for Things Japanese, as Basil H. Chamberlain defined the artifacts and prints that were massively imported in Europe in those …

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THE MACHINE AGE IN AMERICA – Story of a native style

The machine and all its many manifestations was the defining force that shaped America in the years between the two wars. The machine as a process, an object or a symbol of American civilization, is the founding element of Modernism. Recognition of America’s distinctive character and contribution to design during the 1902’s and 1930’s was …

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Book quest of the week

ABOUT ME AND THE FASHION BOOKOLOGIST

Hello! I am Violetta Meroni and I am your Fashion Bookologist. I created The Fashion Bookologist’s with a mission in mind. While planning its identity, I ran into this quote that I found extremely encouraging because it synthetized my goal and helped me find the right words to express it. It refers to Yves Saint-Laurent and his passion for books. In my post “Fabulous Fakes” I reveal how this quote connects me to the great French Designer.

“Rather than experiencing it through travel, the couturier dreamed of Asia like an armchair traveler, captured by its spell…As an art lover, collector and reader with an extensive library, Yves was always in search of a revelation, a source of illumination to lead his work towards new horizons. Finding inspiration in the shimmer of its silks, borrowing the weaving techniques that produce the finest muslins, jamdani, renowned around the world, unraveling its golden threads and delicate braids, juxtaposing its colours and fabrics. Yves Saint Laurent did all of those things but he also rewrote the history of these many influences, combining them cleverly to create his own unique lines, deftly drawn and instantly… a piece of Chinese jewelry inspires the sinuous lines of a motif, an embroider recalls a Mongol cloak…” Charles Ange Ginesy YSL Dreams of the Orient

I started buying fashion and design books to help in my job as researcher. Those books – style knowledge books – have been an essential part of my job as fashion jewlery and mid-century design researcher.

Credibility in ones’s job is built on solid knowledge, relevant experience and intellectual honesty.The internet was not enough, too much information which I did not trust very much.

A few days later after quitting my job, it was late April 2020, during the pandemic, I was in my home in Milan, staring at my book collection that I was about to start selling and asked myself how could I find an interesting way to sell these books. Should I open a bookstore? Not the right moment, not enough money.

How then, would I reach in a captivating way all those designers out there, students, researchers, journalists, galleries, artists, photographers, people involved in the vintage market, collectors and others, and provide them not only with a rare book but also with a good and substantial story? How could I do this without meeting them inside a bookstore and have a talk with them? I love writing, I love research, I love reading. And I love selling books.

I began to define my possible audience while I was wondering what made successfull professionals so good at their job. Where and how did all those extraordinary talents who made history in fashion design and journalism, textile design, costume jewelry, photography, fashion illustration, and more find their sources of inspiration? First of all I learned that those people owned enormous collections of books. Everybody remembers Karl Lagerfeld’s photos of his immense library. And so….