Her daughter believed that she saw her spending as a covert form of social work to help the local shop girls, who were paid on commission. The psychological version is equally gloomy, and often adds insult to injury by tracing it back to dodgy potty training.
Fashion has traditionally, if inaccurately, been seen as a female obsession. Clothes are, by their very nature, superficial. What I learned in the course of reading this book is that either reaction is perfectly valid, and both reactions are based in truth. Most of her purchases were unworn, and had lain untouched in their boxes for decades.
And as Catherine Hill, fashion icon and Auschwitz survivor, can attest, clothes can make us feel human. As Linda Grant points out, clothes are necessary, clothes allow us to express our identities, and clothes can give us comfort.
It is hard not to suspect that she could have found a more efficient way of doing so, and might not have succumbed to shopaholism had she lived in a fairer era when women could pursue fulfilling careers, but Linda Grant has another explanation in The Thoughtful Dresser. She describes the importance of clothes to her own family history: A well written and balanced exploration of fashion.
Clothes float over the reality of who we are. In the camps, Jews were stripped, dehumanized, and sent into the gas chamber. As the wife of a hard-working GP in pre-war Liverpool, she had little time for socialising, which is probably why her daughter remembered her as wearing "rather uninteresting black things".
They were given identical striped garments. The subtleties of a beautifully constructed s Dior haute couture ballgown are depicted with the same relish as her own teenage bargains.
Rather than dwelling on this, The Thoughtful Dresser makes a convincing case for clothes to be taken seriously. After an unhappy marriage, she found a job in fashion, eventually opening her own store, Chez Catherine, which gave her a sense of self worth and financial security.
Mrs Tinne could afford to indulge her love of shopping. Silk or burlap, you were marked as a Jew. Grant throws in potted design histories of the shoe and bag, as well as discussions of the dynamics of clothes and sex, clothes and ageing, clothes and power.
I only wish that Linda Grant had written this funny, perceptive book years ago.
She explores the contributions to fashion history of Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Paul Poiret and other great designers, and describes their work beautifully by relaying the sensual delights of finishes, cuts, shapes and detailing. So Catherine Hill, holocaust survivor, has spent the rest of her life clothing women.
However, if someone were to take all of their clothes off and go walking down the street, they would be arrested. Making them feel beautiful.THE THOUGHTFUL DRESSER by Linda Grant Linda Grant is an English journalist and author whose book The Clothes on Their Backs was shortlisted for the Booker Prize/5.
The Thoughtful Dresser [grant-linda] on killarney10mile.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Rare book/5(6). Buy a cheap copy of The Thoughtful Dresser book by Linda Grant.
“You can’t have depths without surfaces,” says Linda Grant in her lively and provocative new book, The thoughtful Dresser, a thinking woman’s guide to. Apr 25, · Linda Grant's new book, "The Thoughtful Dresser," dismisses the notion of fashion as frivolity.
"I consider it to be absolutely normal to care deeply about what we wear, and detest the puritan moralists who affect to. The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant explores both the dark side and the light side of clothing and fashion.
In many ways she makes the point that the attraction of fashion and beautiful clothing is not rational, but is based on pleasure. The Thoughtful Dresser tells us how a woman’s hat saved her life in Nazi Germany, looks at the role of department stores in giving women a public place outside the home, savours the sheer joy of finding the right dress.
Here is the thinking woman’s guide to our relationship with what we wear: why we want to look our best and why it matters.Download