Anyone interested in the history of dress, from art historians to stage designers, from museum curators to teachers of fashion and costume, cannot function effectively without Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion series. Since her death in 1998, admirers of her work have been waiting, with increasing impatience, for the promised volume devoted to the linen clothes of the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods, a companion to her previous volume on tailored clothes of the same era.
Planned and partly prepared by Janet herself, and completed by Jenny Tiramani, Janet’s last pupil, no other book exists that is dedicated to the linen clothes that covered the body from the skin outwards. It contains full color portraits and photographs of details of garments in the explanatory section, as well as patterns for 85 items of linen clothing, which range from men’s shirts and women’s smocks, from superb ruffs and collars to boot hose and children’s stomachers.
Beautifully produced, Patterns of Fashion 4 is an invaluable guide to both the history and the recreation of these wonderful garments. In addition to the 85 patterns and numerous detailed sketches, there are 178 black and white illustrations and photographs and 433 color photographs.