Teen/Tween Lit: Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing by Erika Stalder
It seems that from the time they can hold a crayon, some girls start drawing clothing. When they are in elementary school they start to refine their sketches, and by middle school many a boring class is passed doodling fantasy gowns and colorful outfits. Some girls just like to draw, others may have in interest in fashion design. A few of them will grow up to become designers, a few others will have careers in the fashion industry.
There was a time when it seemed almost all moms sewed, and little girls were often encouraged to pick up a needle and thread and make doll clothes with some of the scraps of fabric and trim. As their skills improved, they would sit down to the sewing machine and construct their own outfits, often improvising and designing as they went. This still occurs, but it’s not as common as it once was. Older folks might be shocked to learn that many public schools no longer offer sewing as part of the home economics curriculum. Many designers have gotten their start at their mothers’ knees, piecing scraps together into “fashionable” ensembles for dolls and stuffed animals.
Interest in fashion was never limited to girls; boys also spend time designing costumes and a variety of clothing items. A few of them go on to careers in the fashion world; even fewer become internationally famous.
Erika Stalder has written a book that is a perfect gift for would-be designers, Fashion 101. Within its pages are descriptions of clothing items, broken down by categories (dresses, tops, pants) with information about “who made it,” “who made it hot,” and “how to rock it.” Do you know the difference between a trapeze dress and a tent dress? I thought I did until I read Fashion 101. Underwear, accessories, shoes, handbags, hats and almost everything else wearable are featured, along with quite a bit of celebrity name-dropping (including Madonna, Chloe Sevigny, and Napoleon’s Josephine). Artist Ariel Krietzman has created over 300 illustrations to go along with the definitions, introductions, and sidebars. Each chapter begins with a glossary of terms.Continued on the next page