Skirts

Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century

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Pub Date 06 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 20 Sep 2022

Description

In a sparkling, beautifully illustrated social history, Skirts traces the shifting roles of women over the twentieth century through the era’s most iconic and influential dresses.

While the story of women’s liberation has often been framed by the growing acceptance of pants over the twentieth century, the most important and influential female fashions of the era featured skirts. Suffragists and soldiers marched in skirts; the heroines of the Civil Rights Movement took a stand in skirts. Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe revolutionized modern art and Marie Curie won two Nobel Prizes in skirts. When NASA put a man on the moon, “the computer wore a skirt,” in the words of one of those computers, mathematician Katherine G. Johnson. As women made strides towards equality in the vote, the workforce, and the world at large, their wardrobes evolved with them. They did not need to "wear the pants" to be powerful or progressive; the dress itself became modern as designers like Mariano Fortuny, Coco Chanel, Jean Patou, and Diane von Furstenberg redefined femininity for a new era.

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell's Skirts looks at the history of twentieth-century womenswear through the lens of game-changing styles like the little black dress and the Bar Suit, as well as more obscure innovations like the Taxi dress or the Pop-Over dress, which came with a matching potholder. These influential garments illuminate the times in which they were first worn—and the women who wore them—while continuing to shape contemporary fashion and even opening the door for a genderfluid future of skirts. At once an authoritative work of history and a delightfully entertaining romp through decades of fashion, Skirts charts the changing fortunes, freedoms, and aspirations of women themselves.

In a sparkling, beautifully illustrated social history, Skirts traces the shifting roles of women over the twentieth century through the era’s most iconic and influential dresses.

While the story of...


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Featured Reviews

Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is a great historical account of the presence, evolution, and inspirations of the skirt/dress mainly in the 20th century. Fascinating.

It was very enlightening and fascinating to read the different faces and changes associated with the dress/skirt concept in the modern history. It discusses the societal shifts associated that helped bring each of the alterations and also what happened secondary to said changes.

I enjoyed all of the different examples the author gave, and she clearly has an interest and passion in this subject. Well researched.
I would have liked visual aids for reference as well, though.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and St. Martin’s Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 9/6/22.

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I really enjoyed this study of the changing styles for women.I completely related to the author I am a skirt wearer love the comfort the beauty of skirts I have very few pairs of pants but am constantly adding skirts to my collection.I had the Dvf wrap dress and other noted pieces,in feminine dress.An excellent look at womens fashion as it evolved as womens place in society grew.Will be recommending. #netgalley#st.martinsbooks

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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press!

Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century is a fascinating look at the history and politics behind fashion choices, particularly skirts and dresses. The author guides readers through the evolution of styles and notable designers that shaped the twentieth century. The book covers ten of the most popular and revolutionary looks. The author also discusses some of the politics behind skirt lengths and some of the more shocking concepts.

While this book is not comprehensive enough to include every style of the twentieth century it is a great reference for the most influential designs. It is well organized and informative. I do wish that the author had included more pictures or photographs for reference. If a reader is not already familiar with a particular style it may be difficult to discern from just the text.

I do think this book would be a helpful volume for someone studying fashion history or anyone with interest in fashion history.

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This was a wonderful book, much more than I expected from such a narrow topic. This was a fun as well as an enilightening book to read.

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This great book links popular culture and historical trends in a truly fascinating way. I was a bit leery looking at the Table of Contents, as it wasn't necessarily organized specifically along a chronology, but it worked well. Chrisman-Campbell takes fashion trends of their times and shows how they both influenced Americans and were influenced by Americans.

There aren't a whole lot of books like this, and that is unfortunate, because it manages to weave a tale about women's advocacy and activism, and showing how we can "zoom in" to see history on an individual level even through the clothing choices that people make. It also helps us understand our current times, in that our debates about acceptable fashion and "wearability" are all over our national discourse.

It also will appeal to the popular reader, someone who may be interested in historical changes, but don't feel like getting bogged down in an esoteric monograph.

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Publication date: September 6, 2022

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own and may be affected by the fact that I currently have nothing better to do than read multiple books a day!

SYNOPSIS
*****************
In a sparkling, beautifully illustrated social history, Skirts traces the shifting roles of women over the twentieth century through the era’s most iconic and influential dresses.

While the story of women’s liberation has often been framed by the growing acceptance of pants over the twentieth century, the most important and influential female fashions of the era featured skirts. Suffragists and soldiers marched in skirts; the heroines of the Civil Rights Movement took a stand in skirts. Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe revolutionized modern art and Marie Curie won two Nobel Prizes in skirts. When NASA put a man on the moon, “the computer wore a skirt”, in the words of one of those computers, mathematician Katherine G. Johnson. As women made strides towards equality in the vote, the workforce, and the world at large, their wardrobes evolved with them. They did not need to "wear the pants" to be powerful or progressive; the dress itself became modern as designers like Mariano Fortuny, Coco Chanel, Jean Patou, and Diane von Furstenberg redefined femininity for a new era.

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell's Skirts looks at the history of twentieth-century womenswear through the lens of game-changing styles like the Little Black Dress and the Bar Suit, as well as more obscure innovations like the Taxi dress or the Popover dress, which came with a matching potholder. These influential garments illuminate the times in which they were first worn—and the women who wore them—while continuing to shape contemporary fashion and even opening the door for a genderfluid future of skirts. At once an authoritative work of history and a delightfully entertaining romp through decades of fashion, Skirts charts the changing fortunes, freedoms, and aspirations of women themselves.

Just last week on a "Call the Midwife" repeat I saw the SCANDAL of Trixie's short skirt and her fabulous legs: people actually walked out of the fashion show. And I remember the horror on the face of Lord Grantham on "Downtown Abbey" when dear Sybil was wearing the split skirt/harem pants instead of a long, hobbling dress.

This is an utterly fascinating book that ties women and their place in the world due to their skirt length - it is historical yet entertaining and much like the author's other books that I am currently re-reading (Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History and The Way We Wed: A Global History of Wedding Fashion) I will highly recommend them to patrons, friends, families and book clubs alike.

If Christmas or Hannukah rolls around and you don't have a clue what to give the feminist or fashion lover in your life, wrap this up in a festive tea towel (you can never have enough tea towels!) or fabric for the sewer in your life and they will thank you for years to come!!

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I read this as an ARC from Netgalley.com.

Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell was a joy to read. I just flew through reading it! The author clearly has a passion for fashion history, but she also covers the social and political climates that affects why and how people wear their clothes.

I had a blast looking up all the examples of different styles and specific dresses mentioned throughout the book. I'd highly recommend this to anyone interested in fashion, of any sort.

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A fascinating look at the differences in fashion, while still holding firm to what has always been - dresses and skirts, and how they continued to evolve and change the face of women's fashion throughout the twentieth century.

This is engaging and thoughtfully organized and written. Skirts could be appreciated by anyone interested in fashion, history, or intriguing nonfiction.



eARC kindly provided by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.

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