Fashion Fads & Fantasies

Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing

Non-Fiction - Art/Photography
240 Pages
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite

Fashion Fads and Fantasies: Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing by Lorraine Geiger is a collection of original fashion sketches from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Instead of drawing sketches from her imagination, what makes Geiger's collection truly unique is that it is an artistic snapshot of real people using ink and paint instead of film. With such a keen eye for detail and as well as living in New York City, America's center of fashion and style, Geiger is able to capture the heart and emotion of each decade and her work manages to give us a sort of time capsule. Adding to the work are essays about the decade, with a multitude of outfits featured. Each has a short paragraph to accompany the piece and provides the reader with a richer context.

I really enjoyed looking at Lorraine Geiger's work. It felt as though I was being given a glimpse into history, especially since the earliest illustrations were dated in the early sixties, at the cusp of the counter cultural movement. We get to see the many ways style has grown and changed over the decades and, through style, we get a glimpse of the culture and lifestyle of the era. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I feel that Fashion Fads and Fantasies: Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing by Lorraine Geiger will be a great resource for students of fashion, as well as costume designers or writers of historical fiction looking to authentically capture an era.

Sarah Scheele

Fashion Fads & Fantasies: Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing by Lorraine Geiger is a compilation of the late painter and fashion designer Lorraine Geiger’s sketches of real-life people sporting real-life clothing trends she witnessed during the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The sketches were taken primarily in trendy culture hubs during the retro era, especially NYC, London, and Paris, but are of truly typical young people on the street in all their beautiful, hilarious creativity. Accompanied by introductions that put these decades of fashion into perspective, the illustrations ring with an amazing immediacy and honesty that’s surprisingly wistful and nostalgic about the hysterical--and timeless--search for a personal look, as much a part of young people today as it was then.

There is only one expression that comes to mind when describing Fashion Fads & Fantasies, and that is 'treasure chest.' Having access to detailed information on costumes is precious when documenting, or attempting to recreate, any era, and a resource that brings immediate personality to bygone styles is matchless. This book continually wowed me as I raced from page to page, learning not just what was worn, but who wore what and why. Lorraine Geiger’s deft, dry humor, laced throughout in pungent little notes and section headings, brought the world of the sketches to life along with the fascinating people who wore these clothes. Fashion students, authors researching a book, historians seeking a little tidbit to bring a particular year into clarity, and just about anyone who’s simply curious should grab this book off the shelf, clutch it tightly, and take it home for hours of perusal of Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing.

Vernita Naylor

Fashion is cyclical. With each decade you will see some elements of fashion duplicating themselves. In Fashion Fads & Fantasies: Three Decades of Outrageous Dressing by Lorraine Geiger, you will travel through time as you see the various patterns, materials, shoes, hats, shapes and hairstyles that marked how fashion evolved throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s. While each decade represented a style, the differences did transcend from the West to East, as well as from the U.S. to Mexico. In this book you will see the beautiful sketches that Lorraine Geiger shares with us. Lorraine has an eye for fashion and her eclectic sketches display that as you see her capture the essence of the piece that the wearer models for the world to see. Lorraine has travelled the world, not only as the wife of fashion designer Bert Geiger, but as a fashion designer, painter, visual artist and an illustrator in her own right. There are over 75 pages of fashion in this book that speaks to the economics, entertainment scenes and movements of that time.

This is a great book because it offers so many memorable pieces of art. It's not only the clothing, shoes, hats, or hairstyles that create the elements of fashion, but the wearer must own what they are wearing. When you see someone that exudes confidence in an outfit, especially one that may initially looks strange to you, it's the swagger that convinces you this is a look that you too must try as well. What makes this book so special are the brief descriptions that accompany each sketch and where the sketch originated from. If you love fashion and history, add this book to your library collection.