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Riviere, J. (1924). The Psychology of Dress: By F. Alvah Parsons. (Batsford, Ltd., London. 30 s. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:499.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:499

The Psychology of Dress: By F. Alvah Parsons. (Batsford, Ltd., London. 30 s. net.)

Review by:
Joan Riviere

A review of this book has really no place in this JOURNAL. The book is in effect a description of clothes and costume in the upper classes from mediæval times to the present day, limited almost entirely to Western Europe. In a disarming preface the author, who is president of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, disclaims any attempt at a history of costume or at 'a technical psychological treatment' of the subject. His title is therefore misleading. The quality of the psychology in the book may be gathered from the letterpress under the illustrations, of which the following are examples:

Our modern young women may find solace in Queen Victoria's attempt to cover her ears.

It was not given to the ladies to exploit the new and less autocratic fashion of dress, but it was arrested by the Empire.

The author's style is not adapted to the serious student, whether of costume or of psychology. The book is well produced, and as a popular work has its attractions. Its 150 full-page photographic illustrations, taken from paintings, portraits, and engravings, many of which are beautiful, have great interest, though this would have been increased by information concerning the title, creator, and present location of the originals.

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