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Materials Are Due!

Just a reminder — all library materials are due by the end of the quarter (Saturday, June 16).  Enjoy the break!

Mid-Century Fashion Designers

Mid-century style is hot right now in nearly every field of design. The fashion industry saw the rise of some of its most iconic designers during the 1950s. Together, these mid-century fashion designers and styles shaped women’s fashion for the next half-century.

For evening gown lovers, you can’t go wrong with Balenciaga. Balenciaga and His Legacy is a catalog from the exhibit at the Texas Fashion Collection. The book includes full-color pictures of his pieces, alongside the original sketches.  In addition, the author was able to interview the original owners of many of the gowns, who knew Cristobal Balenciaga personally. The anecdotes from these women give priceless insight into one of the great minds of the fashion world.

If you’re looking for even more mid-century elegance and style, look no further than Dior.  Alexandra Palmer’s book Dior: A New Look, a New Enterprise gives the reader a behind-the-scenes look at the first ten years of this stellar fashion house. Along with incredible pictures of Dior’s most famous designs, Palmer details how Dior created, promoted, and protected his iconic look. Students interested in learning how to combine business savvy with beautiful design should read this book.

Obviously, not everyone wore haute couture, even in the glamorous 1950s. Horrockses Fashions: Off-the-Peg Style in the ’40s and ’50s showcases the bright, cotton-print, ready-to-wear dresses produced by British cotton textiles company Horrockses, Crewdson & Co. The book details the history of the company and rise in popularity of the signature Horrockses dress style that most people associate with this era.  Be careful — once you start turning pages, you’ll be forced to check it out.

There’s a reason why Coco Chanel is the queen of modern fashion.  Take a look at Chanel, a catalog from the exhibition of Chanel’s designs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and you’ll understand. Along with her iconic suits and purses, it includes a selection of her evening wear designs. In-depth essays by leading fashion experts give the book a scholarly feel. Chanel is a combination of beautiful pictures as well as critical information about the designer and her brand.

Reference Check

One section of the library that often gets overlooked is the reference section. It really is the best-kept secret of the library. The reference books are so good, we keep them here so they’re always available. We simply couldn’t live without these books, and I bet once you starting looking around back there, you’ll feel the same way.
If you’re a fashion student, one of the coolest books you’ll ever use is The Denim Bible. It’s an encyclopedia of all things fashion denim, including brand names, trade techniques, and style trends. In addition, it includes entries for industry terms related to the manufacture of denim textiles and garments. If you’re working on a project related to sportswear and jeans, make this resource your first stop when beginning your research.

Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market is a valuable tool for artists looking for freelance jobs. The directory includes listings for galleries, magazine/book publishers, advertising agencies, even poster and greeting card companies! Entries provide contact information, a brief description of what the company is looking for, and how to submit your work for consideration. For the young creative professional, this book is a vital source of information when starting your career.

Interior design research often means wading through the myriad of design styles and variations. It can be frustrating trying to find a book that has both good background information and great pictures. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, take a look at The Abrams Guide to Period Styles for Interiors.  Not only does this guide do a good job at organizing styles and periods into easy-to-read units, it also provides beautiful full-color pictures for every style.

Encyclopaedia of Typefaces is just what the title implies — an encyclopedia of type.  This classic typography reference contains examples, descriptions, and the history behind hundreds of classic fonts. It also includes an index of important type designers. While this guide is a great guide for standard fonts, it does not include modern fonts that are products of the technology era. So while you’ll find Times New Roman in this book, you certainly won’t find Comic Sans in this book (thank goodness).

A common assignment for culinary students is to write a report about a fruit or vegetable.  Since there aren’t many books out there about the mighty kiwi, you may want to take a look at Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. This encyclopedia of produce has almost every fruit, vegetable and herb imaginable, including exotic items not usually found in the grocery store. Entries include the cultural history of the item as well as nutrition and common uses. Make your chef proud and use this book for your next report.


Magazines You Need to Know

Too often people look at magazines as a way to waste time or occupy themselves while waiting for something. However, some magazines are just too good to be relegated to waiting-room tables. Here’s a selection of unique magazines that you will definitely not find in the checkout lane of your local grocery store. You know where you will find them? On the periodical wall of the AiMD library!

Worn is an independent Canadian fashion journal that focuses on the culture, history, and deeper meanings behind fashion. As they describe themselves on their website, their “content is not time or location specific.” Instead of being stuffy and boring, though, this magazine is quirky and fun and makes you want to learn more about the fashion community and its roots. To give you an idea of the flavor of this journal, their current issue includes a photo essay of designers re-creating stylish pictures of their mothers. The best part about Worn? If you are a fashion student, you can submit your original writing to their editors to potentially be published!

A new addition to our interior design subscriptions is Atomic Ranch. This magazine specializes in all things mid-century modern.  It showcases houses that have been restored to this classic 1950s-era style, as well as provides vendor information and tips on how to re-create the look in your own home. This month’s issue has a tutorial on how to make a vintage-inspired dog bed. Their website also has a great directory of web resources of mid-century modern designers, architects, and conservation groups across the country.

Computer Music is a magazine that students in the audio program will love. This magazine is aimed at musicians as well as producers — basically anyone that uses computer software to create music. It includes in-depth articles, tutorials, and interviews with cutting-edge leaders in the field. On top of all that, it comes with a CD with free software and files. This month’s issue includes a copy of Dune CM, a “powerful and superb-sounding hybrid synth for PC and Mac”, as well as 892 musical and sounds samples that can be downloaded to your computer or flash drive.

One of the most unique titles you will run across in the AiMD library is Lucky Peach. Lucky Peach is a culinary journal. However, just like Worn, Lucky Peach doesn’t necessarily focus on recipes or the latest new restaurants. Instead, it examines the culture of food and the issues surrounding the culinary field. Some of the articles analyze serious issues, like the rise of the TV chef. Other pieces are a bit more fun, like the historical timeline of chocolate cakes with gooey centers. One thing is guaranteed: this magazine will make you smile, laugh, and think. Just maybe not all in the same article.

Remember, just like our books, you are welcome to check out back issues of our many magazines and journals for two weeks. Be sure to bring your student ID!

Fashion Textiles

They say that clothes make the man (or woman), but it’s fabric that make the clothes.  Without fabric, clothing would just be a design on the page.  The AiMD Library has lots of cool books on fabrics, textiles, and patterns.  Here are a few picks from this awesome collection.

If you are a true fabric nerd, you will fall in love with The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory.  It’s an encyclopedia of fabrics, from the very fancy (ooh, fringe!) to the very modest (homespun!).  Each entry lists the basic properties of the textile, and includes full-color pictures showing close-up shots of the textile as well as example garments straight from the runway.  So if you’ve ever wondered about the difference between jersey and interlock (and, honestly, who hasn’t?), this book is for you.  In fact, this book is so unbelievably fabulous that it is a reference book, meaning you can only use it in the library.  But that’s just a guarantee that every time you visit the library, you know it will be here waiting for you!

If you’re looking for fun patterns, or just want to take a trip in the Wayback Machine, the library’s got you covered.  Marnie Fogg has several books of retro textile patterns that are sure to at least inspire nostalgia, if not creativity.  One fun title is 1980s Fashion Print.  Aside from including the best (?) designs from ’80s era textile patterns, she also provides information on the history of pattern trends and designers.

While most people can name at least a handful of leading fashion designers, how many people can name a single textile designer?  Although textile design may not be as high-profile as garment design, it’s equally important to the fashion industry.  Textile Designers: At the Cutting Edge profiles today’s leading fabric designers.  From the incredibly detailed knitwear of Clare Tough to the gorgeous embroidery of Karen Nicol, this book has it all.

So, you’ve read all these books, and decided it’s time to create your own fabric for fun and profit.  A Field Guide to Fabric Design does a thorough job of covering every aspect of designing and producing your own textiles, including technical aspects as well as business and legal tips.  It also goes over the various mediums available for creating and printing your design, including hand-printing, silkscreen, and digital.  Even if you aren’t interested in making your own fabrics, crafty types will still find the author’s descriptions of how fabric moves from a blank length of cloth to a fully-produced bolt of textile fascinating.

Famous from Michigan

You may not know this, but Michigan is the birthplace of many famous creative people.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out some of the movies and books by these famous Michiganders, and you’ll see that there’s something about our fair state that brings out the best in people.

Most people already know that Michael Moore is a Michigan native.  He was born and raised in Flint, MI, and still lives near his old stomping grounds today.  Whether or not you agree with Moore’s politics, most people would agree that his controversial documentaries bring attention to important issues.  If you’re interested, you can check out one of Moore’s lesser known films Slacker Uprising, which documents his push to get young voters to the polls during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Fans of modern design may already know that influential furniture company Herman Miller is based in Zeeland, Michigan.  Herman Miller is the company responsible for the office cubicle, the Aeron chair, and the Eames chair.  Through the years, the world’s most prominent modernist designers, including Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Gilbert Rohde, and Alexander Girard, have worked for Herman Miller.  You can find books on this groundbreaking company and its designers right here in the library (which is also located in Michigan!)

One particularly, um, interesting person from Michigan is the burlesque dancer, model, and actress Dita von Teese.  Dita spent most of her childhood in Rochester, Michigan.  While Dita is mainly known for her racy stage performances, she is also involved in the fashion industry, modeling for Heatherette, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, and Giambattista Valli.  She has even designed her own line of lingerie with Wonderbra.  If you want to know more about this lovely Michigander, check out her memoir from the library.

You may be surprised to hear that fashion designer Anna Sui is a Michigan native — she was born and raised in Detroit before moving to New York to attend fashion design school.  Her cutting-edge bohemian designs defined ’90s fashion.  Even today, her rock ‘n roll runway shows still reflect her Detroit Rock City roots.  The library has a collection of her work that you can check out, as well as a DVD.


Can’t get enough of Michigan?  Stop in to the library and browse our bookshelves!  We’ve marked books that have a connection to Michigan with this special sticker.

Library Materials Due

As the Winter 2012 quarter comes to a close, we’d like to remind you that all library materials are due by the last day of the quarter (Saturday, March 24).  Thanks!

Librarian’s Picks: Photography

The AiMD library has a nice selection of photography books.  In addition to books on the technique, history, and theory behind photography, not to mention our collection of books on individual photographers, there are a few other unique books in this area that might otherwise get overlooked.

Fans of fantasy or antique photography will be intrigued by Suburban Knights: A Return to the Middle Ages, a collection of images from the Society for Creative Anachronism.  Using antique camera equipment and development techniques, Elizabeth Kitchen photographs the members as they prepare to create a mock medieval battle.  It’s a fascinating look at how photographic techniques can be used to warp our perceptions of past and present.

The Oxford Project gives fans of portrait photography a slightly different take on the relationship between photography and time.  In April 1984, Peter Feldstein took a simple picture of each resident of his small Iowa town.  Twenty five years later, Feldstein returned and repeated the process.  The result is an amazing look at the effect time has on individuals, and how much (or how little) the residents of Oxford have changed over the years.

For fans of photojournalism, you can’t go wrong with Howard L. Bingham’s Black Panthers 1968.  Bingham, a Life Magazine photographer, spent several tumultuous months with the revolutionary group.  Although the pictures he captured were breathtaking, they were never published due to disagreements between Bingham and his editor.  The photographs give a voice not only to the passion and fire of the group, but also portray quieter moments that put a human face to this often controversial group.

Extreme sports photography is an increasingly popular topic for photography students and fans.  One recent title that might interest fans of this sport is Full Bleed: New York City Skateboard Photography.  The photos included span the past thirty years, and include a variety of well-known skate photographers.  Nothing captures the spirit of in-the-moment photography like this book’s pictures of bruised and battered guys seemingly hovering above their skateboards.

If you’re looking for something completely different, look no further than Nick Veasey’s book X-Ray.  Veasey uses x-rays of people, animals, nature, and everyday objects to give the reader a “behind the scenes” look at reality.  Of particular interest are a pair of women’s shoes (who knew we were walking on nails?) and a Boeing 777 jet, the world’s largest x-ray.  By using this unusual form of photography, Veasey points out how much of our world goes unseen. ask me anything

Comics on Campus!

Are you one of the many comic art fans on campus?  Are you in dire need of awesome books about comic books, artists, manga, etc.?  Never fear!  The AiMD library has lots of great books that are sure to please both casual and die-hard fans of this artistic genre.

You may have noticed an extremely heavy addition to the AiMD library collection called 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking.  Fans of DC Comics or comic book history in general will fall in love with this book.  If you decide to come in and take a look at it, give yourself plenty of time: the illustrations and depth of coverage are so great that you may end up late for class!  Another great book for history buffs is The Comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art 1895-2010.

The library also has entire books devoted to your favorite comic artist.  For example, if you’re a Marvel reader, you may be interested in our books on specific Marvel artists and comics-based movies.  If DC Comics is more your taste, take a look at Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes.  His distinct style puts female characters in the spotlight.  Prefer your comics a little on the dark side?  Take a look at Frank Miller’s The Art of Sin City or Mike Mignola’s The Art of Hellboy.

Perhaps you fancy yourself a comics scholar and want to know more about this pop culture phenomenon.  The library still has you covered!  Read about the hysteria surrounding comic books that gripped the nation in the mid-1950s in The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America.  Discover how the comics genre has mirrored 20th century American history and culture in Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America.  Interested in the role women have played on the page?  Check out The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy and the History of Comic Book Heroines.

After reading all these books, are you ready to sit down and create your own fabulous art?  Before you break out your pencils and ink, pick up a few books from the library.  Books by Burne Hogarth or Michael Mattesi are a  good place to start.  If you want to learn how to draw a particular style of comic, take a look at our books on manga and noir comics.  Finally, learn how to use all your new drawing skills to create a story with Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative.

The D&AD Student Awards

D&AD is now accepting entries from students worldwide for its annual student awards. The D&AD awards are considered by many to be the most important annual design awards in the world. Entering this competition provides remarkable experience for any graphic design student, especially because it gives students the opportunity to share their work with some of the most important names in the business. Contest winners are regarded as upcoming “superstars” of design, and are admired and watch by the design world.

Entries are due by Friday, March 9, 2012. The design briefs and contest rules can be viewed on the D&AD site by clicking here. The 23 briefs range from advertising to branding to package design to typography, each submitted by real clients. We wish you the best of luck!