From the turn-of-the-century S-bend silhouette to the bumster and bustier of today, this comprehensive survey explores all the significant developments in fashion in a century that has witnessed a growing preoccupation with personal appearance and clothing.Written by two experts in costume from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, it explores movements and innovations in style for both men and women through the work of the most original and influential designers and couturiers. Organized around crucial shifts in style and major world events, the book places exciting, even revolutionary, developments in fashion within their socioeconomic, political, and cultural contexts. International in scope, it encompasses the century's most important designers and metropolitan fashion centers, including developments in accessories, hairstyles, and make-up. The importance of mass production, advances in man-made fibers, the growth of ready-to-wear, and the major influences of postwar subcultures on contemporary fashion are also discussed. A reference section includes an extensive bibliography and a glossary of designers.
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Amy de la Haye is Senior Research Fellow at the London College of Fashion.
Valerie Mendes was Head of the Textiles and Dress Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
This compact chronicle of fashion traces trends in women's and men's fashions from the British perspective, though continental and American fashions are treated too. Fashion changes accelerated more and more rapidly during the last century, from the conservative Belle Epoque styles to the "anything goes" vortex of the 1990s. In between, social and economic forces created dramatic or subtle changes, and these are well described here with the aid of 280 illustrations. Intriguing details like prewar Nazi fashion ideals of womanhood or the origins the Carnaby Street look of the 1960s keep one's interest--if the eyes can take it. The type face of the text is so small that some readers may have trouble reading it for any length of time. That's too bad, because there is much good information contained in the text. Still, this well-priced fashion history by two experienced curators of the Victoria and Albert Museum is recommended for all fashion and costume collections.
-Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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