Boutique magnifique is the final film in the Outside-in cinema calendar this year, and also a good excuse to point out how darn tricky it can be to track down material related to fashion. One of the more frequent enquiries we get on the Arts Reading Room reference desk is “where do you keep your books on fashion?” The answer we give often comes in the form of further questions:

Are you after fashion design, fashion photography, or fashion illustration?

Is it for aesthetic appreciation or homage/replication?

Are you looking squarely at clothes, or are you also taking in the word fashion in the broader sense of the word?

Those kind of things. It could involve some lateral thinking, such as swapping around the word “fashion” with “costume”, or it could require the removal of any and all of those direct terms, looking instead for things like “photography, portraits.” Geography, point in time, style, etc play a big part in where we direct people, too.

For this film, none of the more directly applicable items I found were actually a part of the Arts collection. Instead, they were held in the broader Redmond Barry and the Australiana focused La Trobe collections. If you happen to miss the opportunity to browse through the broader book display on the day, check out some of these titles on the shelves in the Redmond Barry Reading Room Large Books section, as well as the La Trobe Reading Room (both large and small books section):

Fashions 1910-20

Crown Castleton Publishers, 2005

Crown Castleton Publishers, 2005

Fashion

Murdoch Books, 2005

Murdoch Books, 2005

Parade : the story of fashion in Australia

HarperCollins, 1998

HarperCollins, 1998

Best dressed : 200 years of fashion in Australia

Collins, 1984

Collins, 1984

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