October 8, 2010

jet setting and a new book

Instead of sewing I've been traveling. Again. During my adventures I was able to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum and while there I picked up this book.

Yea! Underwear: Fashion in Detail by Eleri Lynn! I have been anxiously waiting for this book to be released since I learned last year that it was being published. I was at the V&A the day it became available and snapped up a copy. Here is what happened while I was at the counter paying for it.

Me: "Yea! I've been waiting for this book to come out for months."

Clerk: "It's a great book."

Me: "Oh good. I haven't even flipped through it yet. I can't wait to sit down and take a good look. Oh! Would you take my picture with it?"

Clerk: "Of course. Will you be signing them later?"

Me: "What?"

Clerk: "What?"

Me: "Signing?"

Clerk: "Are you the author?"

Me: "No."

Clerk: "Oh."

To his credit the clerk did not loose enthusiasm for picture taking after he realized I was not the author. In fact, he kept retaking pictures because he felt the light wasn't good, or someone walked in the background, or the photo was poorly framed. I admire that kind of dedication. Go V&A.

The book is filled with close up photos, diagrams, and descriptions, of a variety of undergarments from the V&A Fashion, Jewelry, and Accessories collection. There is something for everyone, nightgowns, stockings, Queen Victoria's drawers, men's underwear, bras from all eras, stays, garters, crinolines, and of course, corsets. Like all of the Fashion in Detail series, the items shown are beautifully photographed and the descriptions are clear and informative. The red damask stays that inspired me to tie the shoulder straps on my 1780 stays in the back are there. There's also a plain white satin corset from the Christian Dior autumn/winter 2006-7 collection that is somehow inspiring to me because it reminds me that even the best in the world need multiple fittings and deal with the same with fabric problems we all do. It's still gorgeous even with the imperfections.

I'm going to sit down now with a cup of tea and do some more reading. Then hopefully I'll get around to sewing.


  1. I am so waiting for this book too!!! I just saw V&A and Underwear and knew it would be good! So jealous right now, but glad it is as good as expected and that you are enjoying it!

  2. Hehe, if you were the author I don't think you would be buying a copy at a bookstore. ^.~ But what a nice clerk!

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  5. Oh! I wonder if THAT is what my sister-in-law secreted away somewhere in the house for my birthday in December. They live in London and have a membership to the V&A and I have gotten many wonderful things from that very bookstore!

  6. I bought a copy on pre-order and am waiting for the postman to deliver it. I know it's left the UK, but I wants it in my grabby hands very very soon.

  7. Amy, I'm envious of you having see the exhibit! Where did you see you it?

    Cherie, isn't that funny? I guess only authors are that giddy about a book's release.

    Hi Jenny! I too hope it is what your sister-in-law ferreted away for you. I could have spend so much money at the V&A bookstore. It's dangerous.

    Sewaddicted, I hope your copy arrives soon! It is a wonderful book, you'll love it.

  8. I cant say how grateful i am to you for your blog, i just found it by chance and now have read it trough.

    I allways tought doing a corset was way too difficult, and now im sure it its!! but after being inspired by your story i have decided to try to do my first one.

    Please continue to post your wonderfull work and inspiring us

  9. I saw this book the other day, it is fascinating! Such an interesting range of garments, and it is great to see the detail so clearly. I adore your blog by the way, I'm hoping to have a go at making my first corset soon, and I can only dream of making one half as beautiful and well finished as yours!

  10. Ooh, you lucky, lucky thing! I'm going to have to wait until at least Christmas to get my copy...and even then I've got so many other books on my wish list....sigh...