Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shopping for Vintage by Funmi Odulate

A few years ago for Christmas, I received the book, Shopping for Vintage by Funmi Odulate, and I quickly devoured it.  The book is full of illustrations and blurbs on designers and fashion trends.

For starters, the book gives a very good overview of each era and designers that defined the era with their signature looks.  It has beautiful watercolour illustrations of popular dresses and designs by each designer, as well as what each was known for and how they made a mark on the decade.

The next section of the book deals with jewelry and how each artist signed their pieces, as well as how the company may have changed throughout the years.  Also, the book highlights signature jewelry designs and outlays what pieces would be most valuable for a collector.

There are then brief sections on handbags and shoes that really don't give a specific, detail-oriented view, just a generalized description of the era.

The book closes out by highlighting various vintage stores thoughout the world that one can visit, giving some a brief description on what one can expect when visiting.

Overall, I felt the book was very good in what it describes.  The illustrations alone make the book worthwhile, and, of the whole, the first section of designers is really what makes the book worth buying.

The sections after, while full of information, seem a little tacked on to give a fuller description to the book and make sure the author coversa ll areas.

I thought the weakest part of the book was when the author actually described what to look for when buying vintage.  Though she gave helpful tips on what to look for and how to tell a reproduction from an original, the book is more geared towards buying to collect more than buying to wear or resell.  With that in mind, the book does cater more to higher-end designers versus basic frocks most of us come across in our vintage hunts.  However, these tips can be applied on a smaller scale for what to look for when buying for your own shop.

Overall, I would give the book 3 out of 5.  Highly recommended for the illustrations and descriptions of designers, but not so much for the overall "buying" guide, as it is out of touch with most day-to-day experiences.

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