A roundup on some recent inspiring reads…
The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St Clair
Each chapter of this book focusses on a different historical period with multiple narratives detailed within. Textiles are at the core of each story, reminding us how deeply intertwined they are with our past, present and future lives. Fabric design and production are often deeply undervalued. This book works to highlight the symbolism, cultural significance and technological importance that cloth bears on society and the world today. I don’t often finish a book and immediately look forward to reading it again – this is one of those select few.
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair
After loving Kassia St Clair’s writing style within ‘The Golden Thread’, I was excited to start reading her previous work ‘The Secret Lives of Color’. Included are the eclectic stories of 75 shades, dyes and hues; their origins, meanings and cultural impact. Aside from being a fascinating read, each color is detailed over only a page or two allowing you to dip in and out as you wish. It’s the perfect morning coffee book companion.
The Devil’s Cloth: A History of Stripes by Michel Pastoureau
‘To stripe a surface serves to distinguish it, to point it out, to oppose it or associate it with another surface, and thus to classify it, to keep an eye on it to verify it, even to censor it’. (Michel Pastoureau).
Stripes are a universally recognized pattern we are familiar with in our everyday lives. Their history, meaning and symbolism are lesser known. This book will forever make you think differently and deeper into this everyday pattern. It’s a very quick read and perfect for those who are interested in the history of dress, codes and symbolism within fashion, or just pattern in general!
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life: Twyla Thwarp
This had been on my ‘To Read’ list for a while and it was worth the wait. Twyla Thwarp, the incredibly successful choreographer shares her no-nonsense advice to leading a creative lifestyle. Thwarp muses about her highs and lows throughout her career and suggests practical exercises, lifestyle changes and approaches to making the most out of your own potential. Regardless of whether you have a creative career yourself or are simply interested to know how you can inject a little more free thinking into your ethos, there are numerous notions that can be taken on board.