Illustrator: Colin W. Thompson
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 22, 2010
If you fancy yourself to be a `tween or teen fashionista and always have an eye out for the latest fashions or find yourself checking out the latest fashion magazines whenever you can, you just might be interested in fashion history. Take for example, the white wedding gown. Every woman who's on "Say Yes to the Dress" has her heart set on white (or some variation), but were wedding dresses always white? If you said "no" it was probably just a guess, but you'd be correct. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 she wore a gorgeous white gown, which promptly became the rage. Prior to that "women often wore blue, red, or whatever color they liked to their weddings." Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder's wedding dress was black? That's not in this book, but you'll read about many other traditional colors wedding dresses come in and some very interesting facts about them.
This book has answers to some very interesting questions that range from those that involve fashion facts to those that concern your health. For example, you'll learn if thin has always been in (or not), if super models are really super (or not), and if thin is really healthy (or not). You'll get a peek at an amazing picture of a woman whose waist is so tiny you'll swear that if it were not a vintage photograph you'd think someone had been tinkering with it in Photoshop. Whatever your interest in fashion may be, you'll certainly be wowed by some of the interesting facts you'll encounter when you learn the answers to some interesting questions that differentiate between fashion fact and fallacy. Here are just a couple interesting questions you'll find the answers to: "Is makeup bad for you?" "Are tattoos must-have body decorations in some cultures?" "Did a dog help invent velcro?"
The young fashionista will be fascinated by this book of fashion questions. The questions are quickly answered with some very interesting historical vignettes. The seventeen questions and/or the answers range from serious to silly. For example, we are asked, "Were fashionable men once called macaroni?" No spoilers here, but you will finally know why Yankee Doodle "stuck a feather in his cap, and called it macaroni." I enjoyed reading this book and did learn many amazing facts I was unaware of. This is a perfect book for the reluctant reader who will learn many historical fashion facts by default. The layout of the book is bright, busy, and very appealing. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, a selected bibliography, and additional recommended book and website resources. Was there really such a thing as 30-inch shoes? You'll just have to read the book to find out!
Quill says: If you have a curious young fashionista who would love learning a fascinating mishmash of historical facts about fashion, you just might want to consider adding this dazzling book to your collection!