Women in clothes is not a fashion book. Neither a book about fashion. It is something much more delicate and deeper. Why we wear what we wear? With whom do we talk about clothes? What are we trying to achieve when we dress? These are some of the questions of the survey the editors used to write the book. Because this is a book about women. And clothes. About Women in clothes.
This is a very special book as it is essentially a conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities and conditions on the subject on clothing, and how the garments we put on everyday shape our lives. Artists, writers, activists, art historians, students, scientists and some personalities like Lena Durham, Molly Ringwald, Zosia Mamet or Miranda July answered the survey, available at their website, inserted in the book with pictures, illustrations, interviews and personal views.
I believe that the magic of the book relies in that personal approach to such a global topic. A book about a female issue wrote by women. The chapters where women are asked to send a picture of their mothers when single and without children and comment what they see is simply beautiful. Other chapter covers the personal view of a woman who worked in a sweatshop when a child just arrived from Vietnam to the EEUU. Or the funny part where we see different stains that cover several women’s clothes. And what to say about the chapter Women looking at women, with charming statements like this by a woman surveyed: “Sometimes I’ll see a woman dressed in a way that makes me think we must be similar, like in another world we’d be friends.”
Launched on 25th September in the UK by Particular books by Penguin; Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton have conceived a charming book by considering a bunch of questions that shows the connection of our appearance with our values, habits of mind, self-esteem and bonds with others. Women in clothes is an exploration of the power of women’s daily choices, wrote with humour and tenderness and depth. Even if you don’t care about clothes, you get dressed every day, and that means something indeed, isn’t it?