Frankie Welch's Americana: Fashion, Scarves, and Politics (Hardcover)
Frankie Welch (1924-2021) combined a creative mind and an entrepreneurial spirit to establish herself as a leading American textile, accessories, and fashion designer in a career that spanned four decades, from the 1960s through the 1990s. This lavishly illustrated book provides a lively account of her life and career, tracing her rise from the small town of Rome, Georgia, to her role as a doyenne of fashion in the Washington, D.C., area. Featuring her scarf and fashion designs for the 1968 presidential campaigns, the history of her influential dress shop in Alexandria, Virginia, her connections to first ladies and other D.C. tastemakers, and her exuberant embrace of Americana during the U.S. Bicentennial, this history weaves Welch's personal biography into the literal fabric of our country.Frankie Welch's Americana discusses significant designs and their creation, use, and influence in detail, while highlighting how Welch embraced and promoted her role as an entrepreneur, building a niche business that capitalized on her location near Washington and her political connections. Welch was most widely known for her custom scarves, and each design offers an opportunity for readers to view the nation's recent past through the informative lens of women's fashion. Welch designed thousands of scarves for many clients, including Betty Ford, Furman University, McDonald's, the National Press Club, the Hubert Humphrey presidential campaign, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Garden Club of Georgia. Concise and well researched, Frankie Welch's Americana is the first book to document the ambition and accomplishments of one of the South's most prominent fashion authorities of the second half of the twentieth century.