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Fashion: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute - A History from the 18th to the 20th Century
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Fashion: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute - A History from the 18th to the 20th Century

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,344 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically. Founded in 1978, the KCI holds one of the world's most extensive clothing c ...more
Hardcover, 735 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Tashen GmbH/Barnes & Noble
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Gabrielle Dubois
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century
A bible which an author of historical novel must have!
Gorgeous pictures, details of the costumes, dresses, underwears, fabrics, buttons, coats...
If you don't clearly see how your characters are dressed, get dressed, undressed, night and day, you definitely cannot imagine how they feel in their century.
A book I read and read again, while writing Mistress Mine!
C!NDY  L00
If you are in need, or want of a GREAT image clothing reference book from the late 18th Century (Regency) to the 19th Century (Victorian) in addition to the 20th Century (Modern), then 'Fashion' by Kyoto Costume Institute should be it. The images are beautiful, professional and the volume is dense. Over 700 pages thick! There are a few period painting reference images, but most of the book is Hi-res (gorgeous) museum quality photographs of authentic vintage clothing, styled and draped on mannequ ...more
Sirvinya
Stuffed full of beautiful photography of almost 300 years of clothing. There is a very high level of detail shown and this would be extremely useful for those interested in making period clothing. Most items are shown on mannequins which show how the clothes would drape when actually worn, so much more useful that being shown flat!

The book relies heavily on the photography with minimal test within the chapters. Each picture is accompanied by a short paragraph detailing the designer, country and
...more
Ruth B
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
who wants to join a five minute book club with this
book? who's with me?

Mina LaFleur
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favourite visual reference books. If you love historical costumes, and especially if you make reproductions, you owe it to yourself to have this on hand for drool-worthy inspiration! The pictures are glorious; well-lit, nicely fitted on the perfect forms, and the detail of embellishments and textiles is photographed splendidly. The writing is informative, though the emphasis is really on the visuals here. If you're new to background information on 18th and 19th century ...more
Erin
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book-my art teacher brought this into class for me and i spent two classes reading it.
Lets just say i was in love.
its full of Clothing form the 1800's-the 70's or 80's. Its Beautiful and i was in love and considered running off with the book and not giving it back to my teacher.
Its Enormous and heavy-and the uk/irish price is 40 pounds/euros.
Which is a bit much for a book- but it is filled with full coloured images and info.
I was drolling over the pages-and i plan to buy a copy fo
...more
Pan
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must for any fashion student/fashion enthusiast.
I cannot sing it's praises enough, with stunning pictures and detailed history and notes it is something anyone should have to hand.

A two volume edition, in a slipcase, both bound in hardback.
A beautiful addition to any library.

My preference is volume I, 18-19th century, however both volumes are abundant in style and content.
Sandra
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Now this is a fabulous sourcebook. I use it often and its an investment well worth the money.
The pictures are of good quality and the text is clear for both professional and enthousiasts alike.
Also the fashions on display are diverse enough to give you an idea of what people wore for all different occasions.
Victoria
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any one who loves reproduction clothing History or just pretty gowns :)
This is a great book , there are so many wonderful close up photos of 18thc. gowns. I love all the close ups of the fabric , that is something I always need when ever I am making a historiclu accurate Gown. The only bad thing about this book is it goes from the 18thc. all the way to th 1990s.
Needless to say almost ALL of the clothing in that period is very inaproprate.
Germain Pearce
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful selection and presentation of photographs and historical references.
Miguel Ángel
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justo lo que esperaba, me dio la dosis perfecta de historia e imágenes.
Tracy Hall-Ingram
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sewing
A gorgeous look at fashion in the 18th-20th century. Mostly couture, not day wear or common wear. The photographs are stunning. A lovely coffee table book.
Goldkehlchen20
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fashion
This was the first book on fashion I ever bought and it is still one of the best resources I have when I need to look something up. The costumes from the Kyoto Costume Institute are gorgeous and the pictures are of a very high quality. The individual images are chosen very well to showcase the variety of dresses available at a certain time and range from images of entire dresses to close-ups of outerwear, underwear and accessories, accompanied by contemporary artwork and drawings.
The dresses in
...more
Juliet Gilchrist
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
I Enjoyed this book a lot! It traces the history of Western Fashion from 1700's-the present. The pictures are gorgious and facinating. I finally know the difference between a round-dress and a slip dress from Jane Austin's time. I actually really wondered. LOL. There is text at the begining of each section, however the information there ends up being repeated with the pictures, which was ratehr annoying. But after I figured this out, I just skipped the chapter/section comentaries and read what w ...more
Kitty
If I could have sex with this book I probably would.


The photographs are beautiful, the collection astounding and the scholarship utterly wonderful. This is a fantastic source for inspiration with some wonderful close-ups a clear descriptions. Many a fancy dress costume has been patched together from the contents of this text. I actually prefer this compendium to the comparable V&A fashion books and I am quite the devotee of those.

This history would be the perfectly attired lover and even on
...more
Jaimie
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked how artfully the garments in these two volumes were photographed, but I was less impressed with their overall timeline. The first volume was relatively well presented and I feel that it represented the fashion evolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries, but the second volume missed a lot of the nuances of 20th century style. Maybe the collection of the Kyoto Institute is still developing this area, but it seems pretty clear that American fashion is sorely underrepresented and that major E ...more
Megan
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing and collection of photographs chronologically documenting the evolution of predominantly European and American clothing. As the title states the clothing dates back to the early 18th century with special highlights of corsets, stockings, shoes, and more than simply outerwear. Taschen always produces finely printed/cropped art collections for affordable prices. This is one of those books which you will take off of your shelf often and leaf through with fantasy.
Rachael MacLean
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative, gorgeous pictures-- if you need a good fashion history book this is a good one to go to. Watch out, though, near the end it gets really experimental and doesn't really reflect much of what people were actually wearing and, of course, it only shows the high fashion of the time, not every day clothes. It does a great job at explaining the ideology behind the clothes, though, and the historical impetus for change in clothing.
Tara
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clothing-costume, own
gorgeous. too heavy to carry around the house, so I've left them on my ottoman and flip through them when I get a chance. I've spent more time with the first volume (18th and 19th centuries) and am incredibly impressed with the clear, detailed photographs of these stunning clothes. It makes me want to start sewing again, although I'm sure I don't currently have the time or patience (or talent) to work on a project anywhere near the magnitude that one of these gowns would be.
Puni
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
got this book set for myself since it was such a cheap price for such a complete book!

having never gone to a fashion school, this book helps me a lot to study the world's fashion history, see how fashion evolves from time to time, and of course, get some ideas for myself to design clothes.

if you really want to get to the core of fashion and understand it all, or if you just like seeing the beautiful pictures of fashion from all times, i'd definitely recommend you to get this book :)
Sjobor Hammer
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I adore this book. It's got gorgeous photos and an excellent display of the evolution of fashion. It very thoroughly (in 700 some odd pages) covers fashion from Western Europe/America, but it is definitely a non-interpretive book. I only wish there were more of it, especially covering other regions.
H. Anne Stoj
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, research
I absolutely love these books. They're a dream come true for fashion research. Beautiful photographs of clothing through the centuries which is excellent for me as I tend toward Victorian/Edwardian styles in just about everything I write. (I do, though, love writing in the Victorian age.) A great set for designers and those interested in fashion history.
Maer
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
ADORE this book - fantastic reference for costumers, artists, anyone with an eye for gorgeous materials. I got to see this collection in person then the book was given to me a few months later - just stunning!! And very interesting costumes - everything from traditional 1700's gowns and coats to amazing "dress" interpretations. LOVE it!
Lushbug
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
some fab garments in this book. all the clothes and accessories are from the tokyo museum (id love to visit it). A great visual companian to dress thru the ages. There is little explanation as to how and why fashions change- there are few pages that summarize changing fashions but its brief and to the point. Excellent for fashion students looking fro an array of inspiration.
Lorena
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is quite a few editions of this book around. I finally got my hands on the hardcover double tome one that includes the 18th to 19th fashion history and the 20th fashion history books.

Totally lavishly illustrated. A feast for the eyes! Recommend it for nay Fashion Student or Illustration Fashion Student that wants a good inspirational book.
Carly
Jan 30, 2008 rated it liked it
While this collection of photographs of fashions through history is interesting I found it to be lacking in vernacular (everyday) fashions. For everyday fashions I turn to the Sears & Roebuck catalogs.
Tereneh
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L.o.v.e. This is one of my go-to books for fashion history. I actually tried to go to the Kyoto Costume Institute not realizing it is not a public museum, at least it was not when I was in Kyoto. Thoughtful, thorough, and beautiful.
Meltha
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: costume-design
Absolutely goregous photography, beautifully done, rich colors, and a mouth-watering display of late eighteenth century French collections as well. The modern section is a little odd, though, and suddenly skews much more to Asian than the rest of the book, but it's still fascinating.
Ilona Bittencourt
Beautiful photography from Kyoto Costume Institute. It covers a long time period of fashion and contains general information about the gowns shown in it. A visual guide to fashion history and its silhuettes.
Jana
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, fiber-fabric
This is an exquisite book! It was a going-away / moving gift from a fellow fiber artist in my former studio. I absolutely love how inspiring it is... so full of ideas and beautiful photography. The 20th C. collection is especially remarkable.
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  • Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries
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  • Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey
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  • Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century
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  • Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing sixteenth - century dress
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  • Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700–1915
  • 20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment
  • The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957
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  • The Corset: A Cultural History
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