Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: The Evolution of Fashion vs. Dress Design

It's 5 a.m. You wake up and decide to write a historical novel or scifi/ fantasy novel set in a different world. What are your characters going to wear? If you watch Buck Rogers (TV series) and wonder where does princess Ardala get her horn headdress? Where the sisters of Paul Atreide's mom get their steeple hats in the movie "Dune"? What is the source of such fashion?

You can these strange fashions in the ebook "Evolution of Fashion" written by Florence Mary Gardiner in 1897. She writes a delightful book with illustrations, sharp wit and sprinkles it with poetry. You can download this book (many forms including Kindle)from Project Gutenberg for free! The middle ages contains a panorama of extreme fashions which includes steeple and horny hats for women, long pointy shoes. I draw this example of a long shoe that lifts the toes with a long chain that attaches around the calf. Fathom a room full of guests in such attire. Ahhh...It's not time travel, but the next best thing.

"Dress Design" written by Talbot Hughes is available for download (free) at the Gutenberg Project. This author includes beautiful photos of real women wearing historical clothing. The author writes with fashion designers in his mind by including drawings of patterns for clothing. Beauty is the embroidery that flourishes on crisp fabrics that have endured through time. The book covers clothing from 500 A.D. to 1875.

Which one should you download? Both! Both are free. Florence Mary Gardiner gives a more touching account about humanity with bridal and funeral customs in different countries. Both authors despise the chignon hairstyle! Wow! Really? I googled the chignon hairstyle: a roll of hair bunched at the neck....hmm...

Please check out my 25 second animation "Stomp" which features medeval shoe.

Thank you for reading my blog! Hugs and smiles!

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I also had fun visiting Froggarita.


  1. I love Stomp! How did you create it? Was that drawn by hand? Or was it animated? Where did you get the music?

  2. Thanks Ixxy! I bought the I pen digital mouse and drew straight lines and curves with Windows paint and finished painting it with GIMP. I really enjoy GIMP's smudge tool.

    I laid a plain background then lifted the leg and saved that as a merged jpeg. I have the leg in 3 different positions in three different jpeg.

    I made the animation by placing the 3 layers on top of each other in GIMP software. Save it as a GIF. Choose animation. Choose to replace each layer. Add a 375 milisecond delay for each layer.

    Load the animated gif in Windows movie maker. Each lasts 5 seconds so I added the same gif four times.

    I composed the music in LMMS. Exported it to Audacity and added wah effect.

    How is the fabulous Ixxy?

    I am still learning, but having fun making animations with GIMP. :)