Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook

Image of Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook
Release Date: 
April 18, 2016
Laurence King Publishing
Reviewed by: 

Without a doubt this is one of the most exhaustive, painstaking, and all-encompassing visual diaries pertaining to the details or fine points of fashion such as collars, necklines, closures, jacket shapes, cuffs pockets, stitching, buttonholes, and more.   

Each of the 875 color illustrations (every single one of them) is meticulously documented and recorded except that the reader will be less than fully informed about so many of the brands/designers as none of this is pointed out nor is any type of related terminology or jargon used to describe the specific details other than the chapter headings.

For example, a peter pan collar is quite different from a French collar or a roll neck and is not anywhere near a funnel or cowl neck. Where is the clear definition of each? It is puzzling that “details” such as those are omitted after all the effort that has gone into the completion of this encyclopedic accounting of fashion. 

What is mystifying is that if this is indeed a sourcebook, what exactly is it sourcing? A sourcebook might be a textbook or directory, but what this boils down to is a phone book with phone numbers and addresses but no names. It is safe to say that Vintage Details is a barely annotated visual scrapbook of every possible sewing variation within its eleven chapters. What is further disturbing is that there are “pieces” which are incorrectly described let alone sufficiently described; the discerning eye will be able to recognize when a fabrication or weave or content is incorrectly described or applied.

In the end, this might be a case of reality vs. expectation where the reality of this book’s content doesn’t come anywhere near the reader’s expectation; especially when it boasts truckloads of data and enlightenment on the subject within the book’s introduction.