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Just about every "how-to" book on drawing manga (and also "mainstream" comics) advises aspiring artists to gather reference material from "real-life" in order to draw realistic buildings, animals, trees, and so on. But when it comes to researching costumes and fashions for designing characters, the artists is confronted not only with the potentially confusing details of a particular item of clothing, but also the countless changes in fashion that have developed over history. And just how do you correctly draw that leg-of-mutton sleeve for your heroine's wedding dress? I can't recommend this first volume of the "Costume Encylopedia" (Everyday Clothing) highly enough. There are more than a dozen different styles each of sleeves, skirts, coats, footwear, and other items of clothing, that are catalogued, diagrammed, and described for easy reference. Don't know the difference between a tiered skirt and a sarong (you can raise your hand if you don't)? They're both in the book. The book is prefaced with several drawings of costumes created from the various styles featured in the encyclopedia. And for those of you interested in how clothes are constructed, the back of the book explains how basic articles of clothing are pattered and assembled. This is not only perfect for creating costumes for your manga characters, but also for interpreting outfits featured in fashion magazines, history books, and on film and TV (be sure to observe what folks are wearing on the street,too). Students in fashion design courses also use guides similar to this one, but those texts are easily 2 to 3 times more expensive than the Encyclopedia (If you can afford it, I highly recommend "Fashion Sketchbook" by Bina Abling).Read more ›
If you are wondering why this book costs nearly twice as much as the other HTDM books in the series, the answer is: it's twice as long. Instead of the standard 120-odd pages, this one has 238 pages. And it's worth every penny. Every page is packed with pictures of all sorts of clothing, there is no nudity except for one page explaining body types and how they affect clothing (and it's only a line-drawing; you can draw underwear on them if worst comes to worst). The supposed section on how to draw men in women's clothing-which almost dissuaded me from buying the book-turns out to be an insignificant section at the end of a page, telling you that men are leaner in the hips than in the shoulders and that they aren't curvaceous. Boy. You could have fooled me.
This book is divided as follows:
1. How to Make the Most of This Book: (introduction)
About eight pages long, this preface has about eleven different girls wearing different costumes devised through use of this book. They are really cute and have neat poses, and there are arrows pointing to all parts of their apparel telling you what type of sleeve or dress it is, and on what page it can be found. There are some tips and information on making your own creations. (I really love this part!)
This is, as you can guess, the longest chapter in the book. It covers all aspects of pretty much anything you could ever put on your body. Everything is for women, however, but many styles and clothes are genderless so it can work both ways.Read more ›
This is one book I ever wondered what I did without. It takes a complex idea, such as drawing clothing, and makes it simple, easy and clean. The book is a treasure chest of examples and ideas that can help you define and polish your outfits. Often I flip through random pages and point, and whatever my finger falls on I design an outfit from, using other elements from the book.
As a previous reviewer started, a men's addition would be very nice. Instead we get a simple, half-page how-to on making a female form look more male. There is one page on men's undergarments, but that's the brunt of it. Otherwise, just use your common sence; a man is not going to want to wear a Medici collared, puffy sleaved shirt unless he's auditioning for Bishonen of the Year.
Still the lack of male content dose nothing to curb my enthusiasm for this book. It's a great buy for anyone studying art and fashion.
The only reason I'm giving this book 3 stars and not 4, is because the way this book was organized, was a little confusing. It's always hard for me to find a certain peice of clothing in it. I had to flip through the WHOLE book just to find a pair of friggin' pants. Other than than that. This book was very helpful to me. it has lot's of good ideas, but sadly, nothing as creative as the characters on the cover. TRUE, I usually find myself guiltily judging a book by it's cover *Slap self in face* I can't help myself! You'de think I'd have learned by now! But I would definetly reccomend this book to people who KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING! But as the title of this revew says: VARIETY!
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