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Let There Be Clothes: 40,000 Years of Fashion Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Pub Co (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894808338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894808333
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thank you for finding my author's page--I know it couldn't have been easy to spell Schnurnberger.

I started out as a painter (one of my prints is somewhere in the basement of the Museum of Modern Art ); I wrote two award-winning musicals for children; I've been an on-camera reporter and an NBC talk show producer. For two years I popped up regularly on morning television as a media spokesperson for the hosiery industry, demonstrating the proper way to wash pantyhose. (When I was replaced, I'm proud to say it was by Lauren Hutton.) I've been interviewed about my books and fashion on Oprah, Entertainment Tonight and Extra, among others, and have written for The New York Times, New York, Reader's Digest, People, Parade and just about every woman's magazine in America. I also founded Foster Pride, a non-profit which provides mentoring and art classes for New York city children and teens in foster care.

In other words, I've had a lot of jobs. I didn't follow a career trajectory so much as to seize opportunities that seemed interesting--and that would pay the rent. Two goals that I'm happy to say didn't prove to be mutually exclusive.

I had a ball writing Let There Be Clothes: 40,000 Years of Fashion History, a cult classic that's chocked full of interesting trivia. And writing novels has been even more fun, because I get to make things up. The books have been translated into a half dozen languages and they're bestsellers here and in Europe and Latin America. Best of all, the books have provided me with the opportunity of going around the country and meeting the women who are reading them -- and nothing, has been more fun than that!

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Great information and a fun read.
Leigh Somebody
This source of endless fashion trivia was a surprise gift from a friend and has become one of my favorite rainy day reads.
allison taylor
A fun, funky and thoroughly entertaining way to learn about clothes from the past and their role in history.
June Johns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By allison taylor on March 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Too many authors of fashion/costume history get really stuffy, even pedantic in their published expertise. This is not that kind of author - she presents in a conversational format historical facts, quotes, a general timeline, and many reprinted photos, drawings and paintings showing fashion or something interesting to do with our favorite topic. Since it's written more like Vogue than any textbook, it's easier to digest and remember, and wholly entertaining at the same time. After all, what is fashion history but a record of the everyday clothes people wore during their lifetime, the same way we look at our bluejeans. This source of endless fashion trivia was a surprise gift from a friend and has become one of my favorite rainy day reads. And there's something for everyone: clothing colors of Egypt - the popular and the magical (p. 50), a medieval recipe for toothpaste (p. 138), a credit for the first owner of black satin sheets in the 1570's (p.177), Madame de Pompadour's deathbed act of cosmetic vanity (p. 227), the origin of men's trouser cuffs (p. 273), several references to fashions inspired by the silver screen (p. 348), the Edwardian revival of the early 1970's (p. 392), and a zillion more bits of tid. You'll find yourself saying "hmmm! never knew that!" pretty darn often. This book provides justification for saying "everything old becomes new again" and a fun perspective on constantly changing fashion through the ages. Especially appropriate for younger readers who couldn't make it through a textbook approach to clothing, or for those of us who like to read in bed without dozing off. Keep an eye out for this volume and snap up as many copies as you ever find.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Humphrey, KWAH@Earthlink.net on September 1, 1997
Format: Paperback
40,000 Years of Fashion: Let There Be Clothes is one of the most humorous costuming books it has been my pleasure to read. It is a campy romp through the history of fashion from the prehistoric fur bikini to the hottest and hippest of the retro 90's. 40,000 years is not to be used as a serious research book, but it's fantastic for the vintage fashion enthusiast that is looking for the short take on a long subject. Fashion tips and social quips relevant to each century gives this book its charm
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
Funny, hip, accurate, and fascinating--what could possibly be wrong with a book whose chapter on the 17th century is titled "Louie, Louie?" It covers all the technical terms, shows the relationships between ripped jeans and the Reformation, and doesn't leave out makeup, shoes, gloves or plastic surgery. There is life after social anthropology
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jane Burson on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is it; The Book, the one that made me fall in love with the history of clothing and fashion. You have to take everything with a grain of salt, but the easy-to-approach format with the pages divided into `articles' sort of like a newsletter, the fun graphics, and interesting historical tie-ins make this one of my favorite fashion history books. If you're looking for an in-depth historical study this is NOT for you. However, if you are looking for a fun, irreverent frolic through the togas, doublets, and surplices of times past pick up a copy of this when you find it, it's well worth it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Why do people wear what they wear? This book tells all! Did blondes have more fun in Ancient Rome? In 40 A.D. laws were passed requiring Roman prostitutes to dye their hair blonde. Ever wonder what the Gauls wore into battle? They died their mustaches blue, put on their horned helmets and went off to war stark naked from the neck down! Why did LOuis XIV make high heels and stockings an essential for the well-dressed man? (He wanted to show off his great legs!) This book is a riot... buy it!
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