Fashions, Fads and Fantasies: Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing by Clara Jackson is a compilation of the late painter and fashion designer Lorraine Geiger’s sketches of real-life people sporting real-life clothing trends she witnessed during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. The sketches were taken primarily in trendy culture hubs during the retro era, especially NYC, London, and Paris, but are of truly typical young people on the street in all their beautiful, hilarious creativity. Accompanied by introductions that put these decades of fashion into perspective, the illustrations ring with an amazing immediacy and honesty that’s surprisingly wistful and nostalgic about the hysterical—and timeless-- search for a personal look, as much a part of young people today as it was then.
There is only one expression that come to mind when describing Fads, Fashions and Fantasies, and that is treasure chest. Having access to detailed information on costume is precious when documenting or attempting to recreate any era, and a resource that brings immediate personality to bygone styles is matchless. This book continually wowed me as I raced from page to page, learning not just what was worn, but who wore what and why. Lorraine Geiger’s deft, dry humor, laced in pungent little notes and section headings, brought the world of these sketches to life, as well as the fascinating people who wore them. Fashion students, authors researching a book, historians seeking a little tidbit to bring a particular year into clarity, and just about anyone who’s simply curious should grab this book off the shelf, clutch it tightly, and take it home for hours of perusal of Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.