Now republished by Dover Publications, Fashion is Spinach (as in, “I say it’s spinach and I saw to hell with it”), was first published in 1938. Hawes was sent to Paris to memorize and steal couture designs, but then learned how to design herself and eventually ran her own couture house in the US. In the meantime, she observed the fashion scene around her and honed her opinions on what works and what doesn’t work. Hawes was so good a writer that when she gave up her couture house because she simply couldn’t charge enough to cover her costs, she became a best-selling author. She would eventually get in trouble for her labor activism during the McCarthy Era.
If you are interested in the history of fashion and the fashion industry, read Hawes,. She is always entertaining.