Trappings: Stories of Women, Power, and Clothing

Tiffany Ludwig, Author, Renee Piechocki, Author Rutgers University Press $29.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-8135-4184-6
""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.
Reviewed on: 10/29/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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