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Trappings: Stories of Women, Power, and Clothing Hardcover – November 30, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"What do you wear that makes you feel powerful?" Artists Ludwig and Piechocki posed this question to women of all ages and backgrounds and gathered their responses for this unique celebration of womanhood. Each woman's story, accompanied by one or more photographs, presents an intriguing portrait of both inner and outer strength; one example is a glamorous-looking Oxford, Miss. woman training for the pro-boxing circuit, who confides, "I'm overcompensating. I buy the flowered-y dresses for a reason." The expected power suits and uniforms are represented, but accessories prove more popular; a Santa Fe "risk-taker" and former Playboy bunny always carries her passport, while a Nashville woman uses her grandmother's pearls as "armor" during a nerve-wracking party. Many testimonies cover life journeys and important events, forming short but satisfying narratives (some of which are deepened by multiple interviews over time). Of course, many Dumbo-esque lessons ensue ("I always had that power in me... and I got a lot of it now"), but they hardly diminish the fun of reading and sharing these revealing, funny and entirely identifiable stories. 108 color and 40 b/w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Reading this book is like going to a great party where all the women are beautiful and powerful." --Lucy R. Lippard, author of the Pink glass Swan: Selected Feminist Essays on Art.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; Fifth or Later Edition edition (November 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813541840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813541846
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,894,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Target to Paris on March 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading the overview and glowing reviews of this book, I got excited and thought it would be really interesting. Instead after owning it for 15 minutes, I am somewhat disappointed and put it down. First, pro: some of the women have interesting stories. I don't think it is a shock that clothes can change/protect/identify you but it is the personal experiences of the individual that makes the story interesting. Second, I appreciate that "regular" women were featured; however, this leads me to my Con: after cherry picking a couple of stories (another good thing - you don't have to read the book linearly since each profile can stand alone) I felt like every woman was from NJ or NY. I was not far off. Flip to the back of the book and one can see where all the women hail from (pretty sure this is viewable in the "look inside" feature - which I didn't see until after receiving my copy) and the overwhelming majority of the women featured are from the Northeast, more specifically New Jersey. And before you think I'm bias, I am from the south but work in NJ and love it. There were no women from California(even if you feel they would just provide 'fluff' why not include to provide comparison?), or Washington (DC nor state), Midwest representation is almost missing and the southern places had me scratching my head. Maybe I went in with the wrong idea, but I think that regular women exist in both metro and rural areas ( having lived in both) and let the reader piece together how not only race, social class can mold you but environment. In all, I think the book is skewed and would love to see the rest of the 500 profiles the authors collected.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Diane Beaudry on November 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is very interesting to read about what makes other women feel powerful. Once you start to read about one woman you get hooked and can't wait to read about the next lady. It doesn't begin and end with fashion. It takes a look inside the person and what their lives are like. Great pictures in the book also. I would recommend this to all of the powerful ladies out there!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While the phrase 'dress for success' usually refers to selecting garments appropriate for a business setting, "Trappings: Stories Of Women, Power And Clothing" by Tiffany Ludwig (artist and media consultant) in collaboration with Renee Piechocki (artist and art consultant) expands that concept as it specifically applies to women in all circumstances both commercial, social, governmental, and cultural. "Trappings" is the cumulation of a project that included some six years of interviews and conversations with more than five hundred women and girls (ranging in age from four to ninety-two) about what they wore and why. The women ranged from office workers to drag-kings, stay-at-home moms to attorneys, fashion industry executives to elected officials, and students to cowgirls. The purposes of clothing selection are as diverse as establishing identity and power. The factors affecting fashion choice include gender, culture, race, class, age, profession, comfort and practicality, cost and creativity. Enhanced with the inclusion of 148 color and B/W photographs, "Trappings" is as an informed and informative read as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking.
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