32nd out of 123 books — 16 voters
Costume and Fashion: A Concise History
From the momentous invention of the needle some 40,000 years ago to the development of blue denim; from Neolithic weavers to the biggest names in the fashion industry today—this classic guide covers the landmarks of costume history, the forms and materials used through the ages, as well as the underlying motives of fashion and the ways in which clothes have been...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 29th 2002 by Thames & Hudson
(first published February 28th 1969)
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Apr 23, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition Recommends it for: Carmen Ortiz
This is perfectly fine as far as it goes - you can't cover the history of fashion in great depth in under 300 pages. This edition ends with the early 1980s, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The ancient world is briefly covered, and then France and Britain get the bulk of attention from the medieval era to the mid-20th century, when finally American fashion makes an appearance as European haute couture begins to die out, and wartime restrictions in Europe allow American manufacturing and design to...more
Apr 26, 2013 Emma rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
This book ended up being one of my primary resources for a research paper I wrote for school, about fashion and the French Revolution. It perfectly describes many aspects of fashion, and additionally the social causes for the changes that occur, which was the primary emphasis of my paper. Though it is, as the title suggests, a concise history, it goes into just enough detail about each fashion era that it never feels incomplete. There is no in-depth discussion about the influence of Marie Antoin...more
Any book that spans large periods of history over just a few hundred pages can't promise detail. However, it can promise to provide good overview which this books does to a certain extent. However, I had the distinct impression that the author liked certain fashion periods more than others (and so spent more time on them). I found it amusing but irritating when he interjected his opinions on the attractiveness of various styles, good or bad. I wasn't looking for his opinion but a history. He als...more
This isn't something that I would typically pick up but after looking at the first chapter I was hooked. This is a very concise description of fashion throughout all of history. I found myself thinking about how the dress of the different eras spoke to the roles of men and women for the time periods. Sometimes the costuming changed the social roles. I read the 2012 version which included the wedding gown of Kate Middleton. (I found myself thinking what that gown said of our culture now!)
I liked this book a lot, its a great intro to the subject, a short read with lots of reference pics (which are always needed with something like fashion). I enjoyed it so much i ordered the new edition which just came out June 2012. Should have great new info since 10 years have passed. Recommend for anyone interested in fashion on trends in general and how they are connected to large historical events and movements.