The Rose in Fashion: Ravishing

Yale Univ. Oct. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780300250084. $45. DEC ARTS
Accompanying a postponed exhibition of the same name at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, De La Haye (London College of Fashion) and other fashion historians explore the relationship of the rose to the history of clothing and adornment, studying its historical and conceptual relationship with fashion. Beginning with Nick Knight exploring his passion for the rose through his photography, the book continues with a discussion of the symbolic and metaphorical interpretations of the rose in literature, history, religion, and art, with examples ranging from the symbolism of the Tudors, religious mysticism, purity, sexuality, death, and transformation. The utilization of the rose in fashion both through artificial and natural roses and as a motif is chronicled through the 18th to 21st centuries using beautiful images of articles of clothing, fashion plates, and works of art, as well as black-and-white and color photographs. A chapter details the production of artificial roses from the mid-19th to early-20th century in Paris, London, and New York; chapters on the rose in jewelry and scent are also included.
VERDICT This richly illustrated book contains fascinating specialized information. Recommended for readers interested in the cultural history of flowers as well as a singular slice of fashion history.
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