brian cassidy bookseller: march 2019
We are the goon squad and we're coming to town.

Well, we're back from another New York Antiquarian Book Fair, where the many well-dressed attendees parading through the Park Avenue Armory had us often pondering more sartorial concerns. So below find a selection of fashion books, collections, and ephemera from throughout the 20th century for your consideration, including some of what we brought with us to NYC. Punk to hip-hop, London to Istanbul, Bowie to Vuitton, t-shirts to biker jackets, fur to latex, runway to ready-to-wear, this is a little longer than our usual lists, so some email programs may trim for length. If having trouble, you can view the entire list here. As always, click any image or price for more details or to order. And thanks so much for looking.

Portrait of a Bowie as a Young Mime


A rare document from the dawn of Bowie's career, and highlighting an underappreciated art form that would continue to inform his work, practice, and yes, fashion for the rest of his life: mime. Concert program for Tyrannosaurus Rex's seven-date tour in February-March of 1969, featuring a young David Bowie, billed last, as - yes - a mime. Bowie trained seriously with Lindsay Kemp, himself a student of Marcel Marceau; his opening act for this tour, though not described in the program, was a one-man depiction of China's invasion of Tibet, and as you might imagine it was met with some hostility by audiences.
Complete set of mail order catalogs issued by the revolutionary fashion house, Biba. Founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964, Biba was, in the words of Wayne Hemingway, "the first designer label for ordinary women," and the mod "Biba Look" became synonymous with London's Swinging Sixties. Though celebrities like Brigitte Bardot, Angie Bowie, and Twiggy were regulars, Biba was arguably the first label to combine cutting-edge fashion with affordability. And these six catalogues, issued between 1968 and 1969, were part of that same spirit of democratization, allowing buyers access to Biba outside of their London boutiques. Each featured the work of a different photographer, including Sarah Moon, Hans Feurer, Harri Peccinotti, Donald Silverstein, and perhaps most importantly (for the fourth issue) Helmut Newton. While featured models such as Elizabeth Bjorn Neilson, Marie Knopka, Quinilla, Madeleine Smith, Vicki Wise, Stephanie Farrow, Donna Mitchell, and Ingemari Johanson exemplified Biba's "Dudu" look, these catalogues were ultimately a victim of their own success — proving so popular they became too expensive to maintain. Despite this, however, they remain decidedly rare. OCLC records only three holdings, all of them at V&A. A rare, complete, and ephemeral document of this quintessentially Sixties fashion designer.


Pocket-sized 1966 shopper's guide to Swinging London, with a foreword by Mary Quant ("I hate boutiques"), whose Bazaars are glowingly praised within. Each listing includes a pithy description and fashion overview: from Biba ("the most fantastic boutique in London") and Deliss (where Monica Vitti and Catherine Deneuve shop), to Periwigs of Knightsbridge (which only uses real human hair in its creations) and The Gloryhole Boutique ("an imaginative improvement far from the grandmother type of gloryhole I seem to remember").
The Birth of a Brand


A rare 1890s trade card from Louis Vuitton, the pale aqua checkerboard background of which alludes to Vuitton's iconic Damier pattern — which was developed just five years earlier to help combat (even then) numerous imitations and knock-offs.  A decidedly ephemeral trade card from one of the most famous and enduring brands in history, documenting an early example of the visual identity that remains the cornerstone of the company's look to this day. 

Pamphlet (ca. 1935) with additional marketing material laid in advertising "Rectiform" sports spectacles, sold by J.H. Steward opticians of London. Claiming "opticians to the National Rifle Associations of the British Empire," Steward markets the spectacles, designed with extended field of vision so that one's vision is not obstructed by the edges of the frame, to marksmen as well as players of tennis, cricket, and even billiards.

Archive of original fashion art depicting various women's runway dresses, all ca. 1955 by designer David Leigh. Quintessentially post-war in style and clearly indebted to VOGUE and their artists, a beautiful primary collection of 1950s high fashion.

Josephine Ross' BEATON IN VOGUE, a survey of Cecil Beaton's photo work for British, American, and French Vogue from 1924-1980. Illustrated throughout in both color and black and white.


The inaugural 1939 issue of GLAMOUR magazine, "The Hollywood way to Fashion, Beauty, Charm." A style magazine focused on Hollywood stars, now a marquee publication for Conde Nast. Uncommon, especially in nice condition.
A handbook for the Amos Parrish Fashion Selling Clinic, a seminar for department store executives and other retailers. Parrish founded his consulting firm providing statistical retail merchandising analysis and holding clinics like the one represented here from the 1920s to 1955. An extremely well-crafted handbook, it includes the two-day seminar schedule, and profusely illustrated sections outlining the seasonal trends in apparel, accessories and undergarments, with sections on selling suits, coats, millinery, sportswear, etc. These are accompanied by statistical information on the various styles defined. A handsome and minutely detailed item, with fascinating insights into fashion trends  of the era.


Black and white photobook by Larry Fink, capturing scenes from the fashion/couture industry both on the runway and backstage. With an introduction by Guy Trebay.


Booklet issued by Joseph Horne department store containing proposed clothing budgets for career women, based on the woman's salary, budgets A-D "for beginner to boss!" are assembled to outfit a basic wardrobe with accessories at different price points. Also includes a $250 budget for a "trousseau for the bride who plans to continue her business career." A fascinating piece of marketing, likely from the 1940s when the war saw women enter the workforce in larger numbers.
Original salesman's sample folio produced by the Resisto Tie company of Baltimore, marketing their Ban-Lon line of ties. Ban-lon, a synthetic yarn, touted for its wrinkle resistance and easy cleaning, was popular in the 1950's in ties, socks, undergarments, shirts, etc. 


Folder containing more than a dozen pieces of sales and business forms, as well as 50 different paper advertisement sheets (all full-color lithographed illustrations with mounted fabric samples, above) of apparel from the Melville Company's line of women's clothing. The Melville Company of Cincinnati operated during the 1940s and '50s, recruiting women to sell dresses and other items of apparel (children's clothes, socks, lingerie, men's shirts - all represented here) to their friends and family. As the marketing materials enclosed make clear, it was pitched at housewives looking to make extra money, operating much like Tupperware would a decade later.

An unusually comprehensive collection of 17 matched in-store signage for a furrier (or possibly department store fur section), all printed text in multiple colors on a variety of colored and marbled stocks with occasional ornamentation. No place, but based on design and fonts, we date these to ca. 1940. Subjects include exhortations to proper storage (at the store's own cold storage, of course), tailoring and cleaning services, prices ("Fur prices / like other prices / are trending upward / - Don't delay..."), reasons for purchasing (graduation gifts, etc.), among many other pitches. A visually compelling, if pushy, archive of luxury marketing during fur's pre-PETA popular height.


Album of 36 gelatin-silver prints, plus nine prints of fashion-figure drawings documenting a fashion show held on Jan. 16-17, 1937, with most photographs taken by Eda Urbani (1908-2001), an Italian photojournalist who covered the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and later became an interior designer. Her work was the subject of a 2008 traveling exhibition compiled by Turin's Associazione per la Fotografia Storica (which described her "one of the first female photojournalists") and is uncommon at auction. This album includes photos of women sporting fashions by Italian designers, all credited in the captions (Rivella Torino, Gambino Torino - above, others), and displaying styles emblematic of the period: heavy fur coats, billowy dresses, and hat veils. Altogether a gorgeous display of period fashion, and a fine record of the photo work of Urbani, whose work remains largely unheralded outside Italy.

Program for a Los Angeles fashion show sponsored by the Wool Bureau and featuring reproduced sketches from many California design luminaries: Georgia Bullock [Lloyd], Helen Bass, Wayne Fuller, Helga [Oppenheimer], Phyllis Sues, and [William] Travilla. OCLC does not locate.

Color photographs of hand-crafted and embellished clothing, textiles, sculpture, and other folk art, mainly from the San Francisco Bay area. Much of the imagery features patched and embroidered denim, mixing psychedelia with the hand-crafted aesthetic of the early and mid-'70s.


Program from the New York National Medical Association's Woman's Auxiliary fashion show "The Provocative Black Woman," held during their annual conference in August 1973: "Featuring outstanding black designers, internationally known Naomi Sims, Sheila King, New York Festival beauty queen, and other well known models. There will also be a showing of exotic Ashanti fashions." Includes a complete list of designers and models, as well as sponsorship ads, and a schedule of conference events. The NMA is the oldest national organization for African American doctors.


Ex-library, good-only copy of one of the earliest, if not the earliest, illustrated guide to the history of sneakers. Includes sections on sneakers' "biomechanical design," their appearance in films, their usage in sports (particularly tennis), and more. An interesting example of sneakers' treatment as something of a fashion object. Off-condition, but scarce.

Instantly evocative of 1970s headshops., a trade catalogue of fabric t-shirt design samples, with style numbers and names. Brightly colored designs range from psychedelia (a giant eye weeps a single woman-shaped tear; a blue woman with swirling hair wraps around a shadowed male figure; several color variations of the aptly named "Butterfly People" show a human couple with giant butterfly wings) to the indescribable "Furry Freak," the Rolling-Stones-ish "Hot Lips," and an R. Crumb "Keep On Truckin'..." A few perennial teen favorites (motocross, gargoyles, cigarettes) round out the collection's iconography.

PARRJECTIVE: Style Hunting in Istanbul, SIGNED by Martin Parr.  A beautiful collection of photos by the renowned photographer taken in Istanbul, most focusing on fashions found in the street.

PUNK: Chaos to Couture, the catalog for the Met Costume Institute's exhibition on punk fashion, featuring essays from punk stalwarts Richard Hell and John Lydon, profusely illustrated with archival images, runway and editorial photographs.


INSCRIBED first edition of this memoir of the long-time and beloved editor of Harper's Bazaar.




A celebration of flamboyant men's style throughout history, referencing vernacular subcultures, sports, high fashion, and photography. Copiously illustrated, with exuberant design.

HIP HOP IMMORTALS, edited by Nichole Beattie and DJ Lindy, with art direction and design by Giovanni Russo. Illustrated with 195 large-scale photographs in color and black & white, with text artfully overlaid and interspersed throughout. Second printing of the first edition, with numbered certificate laid in (this copy number 4040 of 5000). SIGNED by three of the photographers at their contributions: Janette Beckman, Matthew Dean, and the late great Nitin Vadukul (twice). Uncommon thus.

Rare catalogue of custom latex fetish masks, with typed descriptions of ten different styles, each generally available in three or four variations, and illustrated by at least one original Fuji photograph. "In the first place I Like to congratulate you on the choice of this catalogue, in which you will find a wealth of splendid pictures of our collections [sic all]." We've never seen anything quite like this in a trade catalogue: an essentially bespoke catalogue for bespoke kink fashion. Rare and unusual.


An illustrated 1952 wholesale catalog of leather men's and ladies' footwear and outerwear from the Mason Shoe Manufacturing Company of Chippewa Falls, WI. Generously illustrated in color throughout with detailed product descriptions and model numbers that correspond to the original price list in front. Of note is a four page spread of men's leather coats including "The Racer", a classic motorcycle-culture jacket with multiple zippers, straps and buttons.
Small men's 1970s denim jacket from a female biker gang or motorcycle club. We find no information or reference to the "Metronettes," but as they were driving Honda's (most likely Gold Wings), they were most likely not on the more outlaw end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, a badass jacket.

"Wild Style is the look of the '80s. Do you dare?" Surveys a wide array of mid-80s fashion and youth culture: big hair, mohawks, and colorful party-going outfits. Includes an appearance by Keith Haring wearing a leather jacket with an (unfortunately) airbrushed image of Michael Jackson on the back. An interesting popular survey of increasingly widespread fashion trends, many of which can be traced back to punk.

Step-by-step guide to basic skincare and makeup, SIGNED by supermodel Crawford. A collaboration with makeup artist Sonia Kashuk, with styling by Anna Dello Russo and photographs by Michel Comte. Filled with striking photographs of the iconic model at the height of her fame, in an emblematic nineties style.
Copyright © 2019 Brian Cassidy, Bookseller ABAA, All rights reserved.

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