Originally Posted by thinman
I agree that Apparel Arts is the Holy Grail, but I thought it was a periodical, published over many year's time.
It was published as Apparel Arts
in one form or another from 1931 until 1958, when it became Gentleman's Quarterly
. The great years were 1931 to 1939. There were four "main" issues per year, plus "fabrics and fashions" supplements which typically also numbered four per year. The latter were thinner and had less text, but were more densely illustrated. Those are, in my view, even more valuable than the normal issues which had a lot of articles of interest only to retailers, e.g., how to set up an effective window display. All of the issues were hardbound and oversized, with (mostly) full color illustrations and ads. Several also included some swatch cuttings.
These days, a single issue easily goes for $250 to $400, so getting a complete set of all the great issues from the 30s -- eight per year, for the most part -- is expensive indeed, assuming you can even track them down.
The book I referred to originally as the Holy Grail is a three-volume Italian reprint of many of the best articles and illustrations that was published in 1989. I have been told that the print run was ridiculously low. One person said 200, another 1,000. Just hearsay, but still.