Book Review: “Fashion Victims…”

A brief review of Alison Mathew David’s 2015 book “Fashion Victims; The Dangers of Dress Past and Present”, book contains 217 pages.


Alison Mathew David’s book is a non fiction encyclopedia of sorts, filled with wonderful colour plate illustrations depicting all the horrors of the fashion industry. Predominantly this book discusses poisons used within the fashion industry and the effects these have had on both workers and consumers alike.

 What I loved about the book

The morbidity and bluntness of this book is superb. It is a fascinating read, especially when considering how little has changed in the fashion industry over the past 300 years. The colour plates also made the devices and fashions described much easier to comprehend. Additionally the book is set very well, both in terms of the chronological order of segments and the separation of fashion industries.

 What I didn’t love about the book

The writing style of “Fashion Victims” can be dry at times. As nice as the colour plates are. It would be nice to see a little more content and less images as some of the concepts are self explanatory. The plates are in place for the benefit of people who do not have knowledge of diseases that proliferated the working class of London in the 1800s. That being said, the repeated use of images for the same disease were unnecessary.

Final Word on Fashion Victims

Fashion Victims is a lovely little encyclopedia of dangers that have and are present within the fashion industry. It also acts as a cautionary tale. Particularly of how manufacturing procedures may revert back on themselves by addressing the issue of cheap clothing and sweat shops. That being said this book is essential reading for anyone who wears makeup, is interested in fashion. Or those interested in the progression of fashion manufacturing throughout history.


4/5 – “A wonderful little read that will stay on my bookshelf for as long as I live”

Fashion Victims Book Cover