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Fashion victims : the dangers of dress past and present

Author: Alison Matthews David
Publisher: London ; New York : Bloomsbury Visual Arts, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2017 ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"From insidious murder weapons to blaze-igniting crinolines, clothing has been the cause of death, disease and madness throughout history, by accident and design. Clothing is designed to protect, shield and comfort us, yet lurking amongst seemingly innocuous garments we find hats laced with mercury, frocks laden with arsenic and literally 'drop-dead gorgeous' gowns. Fabulously gory and gruesome, 'Fashion victims'  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alison Matthews David
ISBN: 1350005088 9781350005082
OCLC Number: 961008124
Description: xiv, 220 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 28 cm
Contents: Introduction: Death by fashion in fact and fiction --
Diseased dress: germ warfare --
Toxic techniques: mercurial hats --
Poisonous pigments: arsenical greens --
Dangerous dyes: a pretty, deadly rainbow --
Entangled and strangled: caught in the machine --
Inflammatory fabrics: flaming tutus and combustible crinolines --
Explosive fakes: plastic combs and artificial silk --
Conclusion: The afterlife of fashion victims.
Responsibility: Alison Matthews David.

Abstract:

"From insidious murder weapons to blaze-igniting crinolines, clothing has been the cause of death, disease and madness throughout history, by accident and design. Clothing is designed to protect, shield and comfort us, yet lurking amongst seemingly innocuous garments we find hats laced with mercury, frocks laden with arsenic and literally 'drop-dead gorgeous' gowns. Fabulously gory and gruesome, 'Fashion victims' takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the lethal history of women's, men's and children's dress, in myth and reality. Drawing upon surviving fashion objects and numerous visual and textual sources, encompassing louse-ridden military uniforms, accounts of the fiery deaths of Oscar Wilde's half-sisters and dancer Isadora Duncan's accidental strangulation by entangled scarf, the book explores how garments have tormented those who made and wore them and harmed animals and the environment in the process. Vividly chronicling evidence from Greek mythology to the present day, Matthews David puts everyday apparel under the microscope and unpicks the dark side of fashion. 'Fashion victims' is lavishly illustrated with over 125 images and is a remarkable resource for everyone from scholars and students to fashion enthusiasts." -- Publisher's website.

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David offers up gruesome examples that lend weight to a compelling, but never hectoring, polemic. In its own understated way, Fashion Victims provides an excoriating critique of early industrial Read more...

 
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