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Picturing a World

Dress Diary of Mrs. Anne Sykes

For those of us who love textiles, fashion history, and a good treasure story, who can resist The Dress Diary of Mrs. Anne Sykes by Kate Strasdin? Isn't that swatch in the middle positively Klimt? For the story of how Strasdin discovered an album of textile swatches by chance at a market stall, click here.

In many ways (most ways!) it is totally different from The First Book of Fashion, and yet I like the idea of using a very personal album as the departure point for a story. Either the original album maker or the scholar who recognizes its worth could be the central character. The album's discovery, or perhaps its loss, could prompt action. And, of course, it could always be used to guide the writer of historical fiction in the wardrobe of period characters. Delicious in any case!

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