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RCL Career Resources Graphic and Apparel Arts: Fashion Design and Apparel Arts

RCL Fashion Design and Apparel Arts + Choice Titles

The second edition of Contemporary Designers, from a different publisher, is much handsomer, with good semigloss paper and clear black-and-white reproductions, almost a third of which are later than 1985 (1st ed., CH, Sep'85). The book is international in scope and covers most fields including graphic, industrial, product, fashion, textile, interior, film, stage, and set and costume design. The selection of entrants, as before, is based on recommendations of a board of internationally recognized advisors. The number of entries has been slightly increased. Around 55 have been removed (why Dior and Mies van der Rohe?), and 75 added. The entries have been expanded and updated. In addition to including a personal and professional biography, a list of works, and publications on and by the entrant, they now include a statement (where possible) by the entrant and an evaluative essay by one of 125 critics and historians. Editor Colin Naylor was the assistant editor of the previous edition. It would definitely be worthwhile to buy this edition but to keep the first for the omitted entrants. For all art and academic libraries, lower-division undergraduate and up.

--P. Brauch, Brooklyn College, CUNY

This book goes beyond typical sociological studies of the fashion industry and how clothes are designed. Manlow (economics, Brooklyn College) provides an overview of these studies published over the past century, but then presents a very readable discussion of the competitive, seasonally based, 20th-century fashion industry, some successful designers, what is needed to create a design company with many employees, and how leadership and charisma are essential components in maintaining a major conglomerate in today's global clothing economy. Manlow gleaned interesting information that known designers presented in lectures to students and faculty at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Cultural arbiter Kenneth Cole, for example, used "social messages" and consciousness raising about the AIDS crisis in Africa as a way to market his line. In preparation for her PhD dissertation, Manlow studied the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation from inside, and she devotes one-third of this book to a case study of this company and its egalitarian policies and practices. She views Hilfiger as an ideal workplace community where designers and employees work collectively rather than competitively. Anyone interested in the American clothing/fashion industry will find this book a helpful introduction to its unique history and culture. Extensive bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections.

--B. B. Chico, Regis University

Updating a 2006 publication, this edition by Sorger (Middlesex Univ., UK) and Udale (Ravensbourne College, UK) offers new images, interviews with fashion designers, and more focus on research and ethics. This volume introduces the basics of fashion design in an approachable, easy-to-read format with clean page layouts and colorful images. The authors emphasize the applied use of design concepts by concluding each chapter with a series of exercises. Case studies are integrated into each chapter; each features a designer whose work demonstrates the key points of that chapter. For example, the chapter on research skills features an essay about Alexander McQueen, a designer known for collections based on the results of research on a particular theme, such as natural history or film. The appendix includes useful websites and a glossary of important terms. The publisher, AVA Academia, specializes in visually appealing introductory texts on numerous art and design disciplines. Although primarily intended for undergraduate fashion students, this book will interest general readers who are curious about the fashion industry, and graduate students looking for a brief review of important concepts of fashion design. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers.

--C. B. Cannon, Savannah College of Art and Design

Compiling a wealth of information into one volume, this dictionary by Sterlacci (Academy of Art Univ., San Francisco) and Arbuckle (Fashion Institute of Technology) is a worthwhile addition to fashion and costume reference resources. It begins with a chronology (50,000 BCE-2007) that covers the key events in fashion history. Following this is a thematic introduction discussing the history of clothing, advertising and manufacturing, counterfeiting, innovations, and professions within the field of fashion. The dictionary itself, which is the bulk of the publication, provides entries on important designers, terms, and artistic movements. A comprehensive bibliography is included, and appendixes list international fashion magazines, trade shows, fashion and textile museums, fashion schools, and apparel size ranges. The authors, who are practitioners and teachers in the field of fashion, have created a valuable reference tool for all collections supporting fashion, consumer science, and fashion merchandising programs. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; professionals/practitioners.

--M. Fusich, California State University, Fresno

This workmanlike compendium achieves its aim of being an attractive, updated sourcebook for design historians, contemporary pattern designers, illustrators, and artists by showcasing hundreds of elegant designs selected from materials in properties managed by Britain's National Trust. Beautiful plates provide a historical overview of major art and design movements from Roman mosaic floors to the Edwardian period. Tiles, mosaics, medieval carvings, stained glass, gem-encrusted cabinets, marquetry tabletops, embroideries, leather book bindings, nursery friezes, and wallpapers are just a sampling of the objects and art examined. Brief texts and identifying captions help sort out the motifs, visual ideas, cultural associations, and symbolic meanings. The presentation is broadly chronological and thematic, with an emphasis on styles and patterns of enduring appeal in Britain, such as the Gothic and British fascination with the Far East. Within each of 15 sections (e.g., geometric, myths, flowers and fruits, heraldry, Renaissance, chinoiserie, arts and crafts), pattern design is treated as a continuum, with relevant examples drawn from across appropriate media. Examples demonstrate cross-fertilization of patterns and how fine art and statuary inspired the applied arts. An important work for design collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students, two-year technical program students, practitioners, and general audience.

--R. T. Clement, Northwestern University

Cadigan (Pratt Institute), a professional with over ten years of experience in the field, presents an accessible exploration of textiles and the process of sourcing and selecting them for use in fashion design. This overview of the textile industry and market includes practical applications, such as an introduction to supply chains, sourcing and manufacturing, and natural and man-made fibers and production methods. Cadigan covers surface design treatments such as embellishment and fabric manipulation, trends and inspiration, and innovation and sustainability in the textile industry. Each chapter features a fashion designer known for innovative use of textiles, such as Anna Sui, Missoni, and Rodarte, as well as questions for discussion. The book features interviews with designers working in the textile industry to help guide the process of developing and sourcing textiles for a variety of markets. Well-organized chapters offer step-by-step support through conceptualizing, sourcing, and designing textiles in a fiscally responsible manner. Readers, whether fashion students or textile designers, will gain an appreciation for the relationship between textiles and fashion design, and how they influence each other in the process of achieving creative new designs. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.

--C. B. Cannon, Brand Library and Art Center

In this update to her 2008 book, Fletcher (London College of Fashion) accurately observes that the topics of sustainability and eco-design have moved from the margins to a central area of focus in the six years between editions.  Multinational corporations, NGOs, and celebrities (think Clean Clothes Campaign and Green Carpet Challenge) have turned their attention to green matters.  "Brand promotion" seems to be the gateway drug, but corporations can also become more efficient in areas such as resource management and sourcing, crop efficiency, and transportation and packaging costs.  This book strikes a healthy balance between the subjective questions of fashion and taste and the more objective analysis of the role that resources play, using data culled from a number of sources.  This eminently browsable volume offers much food for thought; topics include "zero waste pattern cutting," "emotionally durable design," bleaching and dyeing, and fair trade and labor, including child labor.  All libraries supporting fashion and green design study and research should acquire this volume.  The many general readers who are interested in fashion will find it useful, though its high cost is a barrier. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates, two-year technical program students, professionals, and general readers.

--C. Stevens, Lake Forest College

Activists decry globalization as immoral and exploitive. Economists swear by the efficiencies and benefits accruing to societies involved in world trade. Wal-Mart satisfies the wants and needs of more consumers than any other corporation in the US, despite the abuse heaped on it. Given the world trade arguments posed by critics and supporters, it is difficult to distinguish emotion from fact and benefit from harm. Rivoli (Georgetown Univ.) takes the reader on the engaging journey of a $5.99 T-shirt through the political, manufacturing, and marketing maze, from a cotton farm in Texas to mills and factories in China, a shop in Florida, and ultimately a used clothing shop in Tanzania. She explains the history, economics, and politics driving the decisions throughout the process so readers are keenly aware of the social context every step of the way. Rivoli argues that in markets shaped by politics, not economics, every party to the globalization debate has something critical to contribute to the argument, but none has the entire answer. A readable and timely addition to the globalization debate. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students at all levels, and practitioners. This review refers to an earlier edition.

--D. E. Mattson, Anoka-Ramsey Community College