Hello out there in the blogosphere from San Diego, California!
I recently bought some new books and I want to share with you a review of one of them... I haven't had a chance to read them all, but I am very excited about digging into them. I thought I'd let you know what's on my current reading list, and maybe promote some good writing that I believe is informative and helpful.
Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion, by Melissa Leventon. I'm almost all the way through this book, and I have to say it's one of the best books on wearable art I have ever ever read. I can't recommend it enough: two big thumbs up!!!
To start, it talks about terms and definitions, so the readers and the writer are "on the same page" as she launches into her in depth description of the Artwear field. She reaches back and gives a historical overview that is thorough and compelling to read, tracing art attire in the US from it's inception to it's contemporary bicoastal development. And from there she starts to outline artistic clothing in different countries... It's peppered with beautifully jaw-dropping photos that could be gorgeous posters in themselves, and she refers to them as examples throughout.
This book, in my opinion, is absolutely required reference material if one is going to create Artwear for a living. It's informative, easy to read, and provides a perspective that is invaluable to moving forward in the field. It is incredibly inspiring through both the writing and the accompanying photographs. It explains several key debates that have existed in the industry for many years, discusses semantics and different approaches and perspectives to the discipline of making art for wearing.
It is not a how-to book. It doesn't provide technical schematics, patterns, recipes, nor step-by-step guides. It is more of a history book, a theory book. And frankly, in our age of DIY it's really hard to find a book that discusses art attire from a critical perspective instead of a how-to perspective. One can get videos examples of how to accomplish many artwear techniques, but rarely does one see anything on why one makes it beyond "I think it's pretty," or "grandma made them." This books actually talks about the artistic and philosophical underpinnings of alternative artistic clothing. And it's absolutely fascinating!!
Lastly, I'd like to mention that I have all of these books in my little "Amazon Associates" bookstore site that can be found here. I don't like to push it too much, as those with authentic curiosity will discover that aspect of my site on their own, but it's there if you're interested in purchasing any of these books... I never post anything that I don't have in my own library. I get a little kickback for pimping them out, I guess. Not much, but a little... Goodness, would that make me a Book Pusher? Hmmm... : )
Until next time, Live Life with Relish!