Fashion, the Essential Visual Guide to the World of Style by Karen Homer | Book Review

Fashion by Karen Homer, book review by The Fair Stitch.Hello everyone, hope you had a nice Christmas break. I decided to take a short break from blogging and social media, just to chill, relax, recharge, you know? December was a bit challenging to me health-wise, nothing big but I’m still struggling a bit with my bad back. But I did have a nice Christmas and today I’d like to share one of the pressies Santa got me.

Fashion by Karen Homer, book review by The Fair Stitch.

Regular readers of my blog would know how much I love illustration and fashion illustration books. This one is no exception, this book is a wealth of knowledge as well as a feast to the eyes. It was first published this year, so the references to ethical (fashion) companies, fashionistas or bloggers, sizing of garments and undergarments, etc were pretty much up-to-date. As the title says, the book is a visual guide. The author herself is a fashion journalist. She collaborates with illustrators to provide the beautiful visual guides. And I am telling you, they are beautiful. As each illustrator provides their own signature style, it’s quite refreshing to turn the pages and find different style. (slideshow can be found at the bottom of this post)

Fashion by Karen Homer, book review by The Fair Stitch.Before I read this book, I didn’t realise just how big and how wide ranging the influence of the fashion industry was. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much information this little gem holds. I say little, but the book itself is not little – 19.5 cm x 25 cm, 192 pages hardback. There are six chapters in this book, each contains about 10 to 20 different sections, and each section is only covered in two pages. So quite concise. There are six chapters in the book, they are:

  1. Materials and prints. This chapter not only covers fabrics, dyes (including how to dye your own fabric!), and prints, but also talks about colours, and sustainable fashion.
  2. Clothing trends and styles. It is quite self explanatory what this chapter is about, I love how the author included male fashion here as well as those figures whose fashion sense was quite a revolution; like Madonna Material Girl and Alexander McQueen.
  3. The fashion industry. This chapter covers a lot about this billion dollar industry, from catwalk to high street to haute couture and everything in between!
  4. Fashion eras. If you’re interested in fashion’s journey through the ages, you’re in for a treat. From the Flapper fashion of the 20s to present day.
  5. The body beautiful. I find it interesting how it’s changed so much. During the Renaissance, as seen on The Birth of Venus, the perfect female figure had long hair, slim but shapely body and with rounded tummy. The Victorian era forced women into corsets, pushing bosoms up and cinching the waist. In the 20s the flapper girl figure was straight up and down, breasts were bound close to the chest. Now, it’s all about the booty. This chapter also covers maternity fashion through the ages, standardized sizing, as well as makeup/hairstyles, and body modifications.
  6. Accessories, footwear and jewellery. From hats, to bags, to shoes, and even dogs. Yes, dogs.

Fashion by Karen Homer, book review by The Fair Stitch.Each chapter comes with a section called A Life in Style, which is my favourite. They are Audrey Hepburn, Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Lady Diana, Marilyn Monroe, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Fashion by Karen Homer, book review by The Fair Stitch.I finished reading this book the day I received it, and I still open the book at least once every day since. I find the book to be very inspiring. If you are interested in fashion or the industry, I’d definitely recommend getting this book, although if you want one that’s more focused on one aspect of fashion I don’t think this is the one. I think of this book as more of a book of fashion trivias. And if you love fashion illustration books, get this one. This book got me reaching for my sketchbook every time! You can get this book from Amazon for around £12, or from your favourite book shop.

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So, that’s all from me today. But before I go, I’d like to say thank you for reading, commenting, subscribing. You all have made my year and I truly appreciate it. Weekly posting will resume in January 2019. As this is the last day of 2018 please allow me to wish you Happy New Year! May 2019 bring you more joy, health and happiness. Cheers. See you in 2019.


Stay inspired,



* Disclaimer: the link provided in this post is Amazon affiliated, which means that I get  commission should you decide to purchase the book through the link I provided at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for your support.

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