Thursday, August 21, 2008

Practicality with a flair

Many moons ago I worked as a cook and baker at a local cafe. I still have my chef's knife and my apron - a hideous, stained, heavy cotton monstrosity made for someone a foot taller than me. But hey, an apron's just a hunk of fabric that keeps your clothes clean, right?
That's what I used to think until I looked at the designs in our new book A is for Apron: 25 fresh & flirty designs by Nathalie Mornu. Incorporating the work of many different designers, this book showcases aprons so cute that it seems a shame to confine them to the kitchen. The looks vary, from old-fashioned cuts and fabric to retro prints and tailored lines. There is also a completely whimsical design called "Marie Antoinette" that involves layers of taffeta, silk, organza, chiffon and tulle. Beautiful! You will also find aprons here for gardening (big, deep pockets), dog washing (the secret is to use oilcloth), and little paint smocks for kids. Lace, pompoms, applique, embroidery, rick-rack and fabulous fabrics elevate these practical designs to the level of decorative art. In addition to providing sewing and embellishment techniques, Mornu also walks the readers through a brief history of aprons, complete with a lovely gallery of vintage aprons. Fun, fun, fun.
I'm not a big fan of aprons, but I might just change my tune after this inspiring book!

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