I’m a little obsessed with swimwear. To say the least. My job for the last 7 years has been to recreate swimsuits from bygone eras and I have become a little encyclopedia regarding their construction. I am currently working on a swimsuit tutorial to publish here, so for inspiration I’m sharing another gem with you today. This book is an old sales manual for the traveling sales man. He was to visit stockists with it and give them a bit of sales patter …. It contains four collections and I will publish them all, but, because I have just visited The Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A this weekend and seen Alexander McQueen’s work for Givenchy, I am starting with Givenchy’s collection for Jantzen from 1957. I hope you enjoy it….
Serious sewing really began for me when I was 15… My Mother taught me most things as I watched her sew… I loved watching her sew. But then came The Ellen Terry Theatre in Smallhythe, Kent. I spent most of my teenage happy summer days as a costume assistant, sewing costumes for the productions there. Cutting my teeth on almost every era from medieval peasants and Tudor corsets to jeweled golden lame bikinis … My love of costume, sewing and clothing history began there. I have a huge collection of inspiration. I collect … (some might say hoard) anything haberdasher and here at the studio is a collection of books I’m quite proud of… so I’m going to share some gems. This time, Costume Nationaux. A French book made up of twenty of the most beautiful lithographic prints illustrated by E. Lepage-Medvey .. exploring national costume in Austria, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Printed in 1939. The images speak for themselves, so vivid in colour and such an expressive culture .. enjoy.