STERLACCI, Francesca and Joanne ARBUCKLE (2017; 2nd edition)

STERLACCI, Francesca and Joanne ARBUCKLE (2017; 2nd edition). Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, Lanham (Maryland): Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN: 9781442239081, hardback, 708 pp, b/w illustrations, bibliography. Price: $150.

It is described as a dictionary, but in fact it is an encyclopaedia with individual entries organized in alphabetical order with numerous cross-references. The entries are based on Western fashion history, trends and people, in particular there is an emphasis on the American and French fashion industries (with a stress on industry). There are also interesting diversions into Japanese fashion and Islamic fashion, both of which are directly influencing American fashion, but only relatively short entries for the Chinese, Indian and Spanish fashion worlds that are considerably less influential in North America, but important elsewhere.

There are useful entries into the various functions within the fashion world, such as a jobber and specification technician, which would be difficult for the general reader and those on the fringes of the fashion industry to understand without help. The dictionary also includes many definitions of various internet and global groups involved in the textile industry in one way or another, such as the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL). Which makes it a really useful book to have on the desk when reading some recent articles!

The main text is followed by eight appendices, based on (A) Fashion magazines, periodicals, newsletters and blogs, (B) Trend and forecasting magazines and services, (C) Trade periodicals, newsletters and directories, (D) Trade shows, (E) Major trade associations and organizations, (F) Fashion and textile museums, and (G) Top fashion schools and (H) Size range. There are some inconsistencies in, for example, (F) which starts with Amsterdam, while the rest of the other entries in this appendix are based on which country they are to be found in. Also in the section on [The] Netherlands they have the Municipal Museum of The Hague as being in Amsterdam.

Recommendation: A really useful book for factual information and explanation of who is what, when and why within the Western fashion trade. Its main drawback is the lack of illustrations, especially as those which are given are in black and white and poorly printed.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, November 2017

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