Books & Reviews

The Folkwear Book of Ethnic Clothing
Easy Ways to Sew & Embellish Fabulous 
Garments from Around the World

Mary S. Parker  2002
Lark Books
ISBN# 1-57990-199-9 
At one point or another, the people in our costuming circle have made one of these neat Folkwear patterns.   This book gives an overview of ethnic clothing, including photos of authentic examples. There is also a how to section on embellishing an ethnic garment (stamping, trim, dying, embroidery, etc.).  Towards the back are  5 of their more popular pattern instructions, including the imminently adaptable Tibetan Panel Coat.

Encyclopedia of American 
Indian Costume

Josephine Paterek  1994 
W. W. Norton
ISBN# 0-393-31382-4 
This 500+ page book separates Native American dress by region first, then proceeds to discuss each tribe's basic clothing, special costumes, face embellishment, headgear, footwear, accessories, and so on.  Most of the photos are unsurprisingly black and white, but there are a number of good examples of pieces in this one source that might otherwise take a casual researcher hours to find. 

Kimono - Fashioning Culture
Liza Dalby 2001
University of Washington Press
ISBN# 0-295-98155-5 
From the book sleeve, it "...traces the history of kimono -- its uses, aesthetics and social meanings -- to explore Japanese culture."   A hefty 350+ page book (and only $25 in softbound), it goes into great detail about the various types of kimono, occasions for wearing same, etc.  There are no color photo examples, but it has many illustrations and a wealth of historical info.

Carnival in Rio

Carnival in Rio
Helmut Teissel 2000 (US printing)
Abbeville Publishing Group
ISBN# 0-7892--0642-0 (Hardbound Edition)


Most costumers have heard of the spectacle of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but it's only with a book like this can you begin to grasp the jaw-dropping scope of the colors, costume designs and sheer numbers of participants. The photos of the sea of costumes in the parades alone are absolutely incredible.

Mardi Gras Indians

Mardi Gras Indians
Michael P. Smith 1994
Pelican Publishing Company
ISBN# 0-88289-896-5

Another Carnival costume book, only this one features pictures and history of African-Creole Mardi Gras costumes in New Orleans.