Monday, 9 November 2009

Good writing about good writing about clothes

Anne Hollander in Seeing Through Clothes, which is about the history of representations of the body and clothing in Western art:

[George Eliot] speaks of the kinds of bonnets that “were then the fate of women,” and she magnificently describes the way a lady sobbing in the transports of deep distress must yet contrive, with a nicely calibrated blend of instinct and calculation, to rush through a narrow door without crushing her wide buckram sleeves. George Eliot must herself have seen it done in the enormous fashionable sleeves of 1830, when she was an observant eleven-year-old girl.


Tangocommuter said...

A book with a lot of insight, and very well written. I read it a while ago: thanks for reminding me of the author's name.

maya said...

It looks interesting. I can recomend a book I have, the Penguin book of Twentieh-century Fashion Writing, ed by Judith Watt. A collection by 200 authors on what we wear and why. There are some important omisions like Salinger and Joyce, but still worth reading.
From Virginia Woolf's Orlando : Vain triffles as they seem, clothes have the same, more important offices than merely to keep warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us.