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Victorian Fashions

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Victorian Fashions
CD-ROM & Book. Selected and Arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton. (Dover Publications, Mineola, New York: 2005. Pg. 48 & CD. 379 Illustrations.) ISBN: 0-486-99660-3.

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - March 3, 2005

The Victorian Fashions CD and book is a superb resource for historians, writers, and fashion designers. Part of the Dover Electronic Clip Art series, this book contains 379 black and white "Permission-Free Designs" that provide a visual, general survey of various women's fashions and accessories from the mid-1800's. Mens' costumes are not covered in this collection.

The designs contained in this collection were selected by Carol Belanger Grafton from the Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive. All the illustrations in this book are from period resources. While the original resources are not listed, the date of the illustrations on each page is noted at the bottom of the page, and they cover a period from 1871-1903.

The accompanying CD contains all the images found in the book. The images in the book are numbered so that you can easily find the matching image on the CD. The images were scanned at 600 dpi and saved in six different formats: TIFF, PICT, EPS, BMP, JPEG, and GIF formats. Both the JPEG and GIF formatted illustrations can be used on websites without needing to alter the format in which the files were saved. The CD also includes a program called Dover Design Manager. This program is a Windows program that provides basic graphic editing capabilities, such as cropping and rotating the images and making slide shows and contact sheets.

The images in this collection range from full body images to images of Victorian fashion accessories and undergarments, including coats, wraps, corsets, gloves hats, shoes, umbrellas, swim wear, and fans. The full body images not only allow the reader to examine the various styles of women's clothing, but also hair styles and complete fashion ensembles. In addition to the full body images, partial body images, as well as individual clothing items are also displayed.

The Victorian Fashions CD-ROM and book collection is a must for anyone interested in women's clothing from the Victorian Era, and those wishing to examine how Victorian fashions evolved throughout the period.

Related Reviews:

Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns, edited by Kristina Harris .
A Complete Lady's Wardrobe - Scaled dressmaker patterns for fifty ladies' garment, circa the 1890's. Illustrations of the garments are included.

Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns and Tailoring Techniques, by S. S. Gordon.
A republication of the 1901 edition of The "Standard" Work on Cutting Ladies' Tailor-Made Garments.

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