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Fashion Hardcover – 11 Sep 2012
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Wonderful photography and interesting facts make this book ideal to browse through at your leisure. It's stunning and a real keep-safe. A must have for all fashionistas. (Natasha Harding The Sun 2012-10-04)
It is a fascinating insight on the way fashion has changed and developed over 3,000 years. (Kate Maloney Daily Express 2012-09-14)
About the Author
Specially commissioned foreword by fashion guru Caryn Franklin.
Contributor Judith Watt is the author of several books on fashion and a lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
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Top customer reviews
There are ten chapters and at the start of each one there is an interesting timeline giving an idea of the historical events which are the background to the clothes worn during the period. There are short sections on trends in fashion as well as fashion icons and reconstructions of some garments.
There are contemporary quotations scattered throughout the text as well as quotations from modern historians and there are illustrations of high status and low status fashions. Many of the illustrations for the periods prior to photography are taken from contemporary paintings and manuscripts.
I particularly liked how the details of each garment are described by means of notes around each illustration as well as some garments being shown across a double page spread with smaller pictures of the details. While this book is light on text this lack is more than made up for by the copious illustrations and the notes on each pictures.
This book would make an ideal present for anyone who is interested in history or in fashion. There is an illustrated glossary at the end of the book as well as an index and a series of small pictures showing how clothes and accessories have changed through the ages.
In 480 lavishly illustrated pages, all hard-bound in a plush white velvet textured cover, this book shows and explains several thousand years of fashion and costume history, beginning in antiquity, and progressing through every major cultural age to 2012. The collection of art and artefacts that it presents is breath-taking. Every page is littered with colourful photographs of ancient relics, paintings, sculptures and jewellery, each piece annotated to indicate its important features. There are hundreds of photographs (many with close-ups) showing iconic garments, such as dresses, suits, hats, work-wear, uniforms and so on.
It oddly omits The Duchess of Devonshire who, in the 1700s, was an extraordinarily influential fashion icon, but in every other respect it appears to be very thorough indeed. It is a sumptuous treat of a book: big, heavy, glossy and a thing of quality. I did spot a couple of typographical errors in the early pages, which is a shame, but I can't let those small matters count against it. It is one of those rare coffee table books that genuinely has the wow factor. It would make a magnificent gift, but I certainly won't be giving away my copy.
The history of fashion, told page by page using figures isolated from paintings, fashion plates, photographs, museum exhibits of dress and accessories, etc., all supported with timelines, contemporary documentation, brief entries on fashion icons and key designers from all periods, with a very useful glossary section at the back.
It's quite simply the most useful and complete reference work offering a wonderful historical overview, a delight to look through. There are a few omissions; I don`t doubt some will notice the odd missing trend, celebrity influence or development, but given the breadth of the field, this is nothing short of an utterly heroic effort to cover it all.
Its only flaw is the cover and spine; that wonderfully tactile flocked fabric surface will not withstand the constant use it will undoubtedly be subject to if its kept in a bookshelf, as it is very likely that this volume will find it's way into many a designer's workplace/studio; either keep this on your coffee table or on a shelf of its own at home.
This is an eminently recommendable book for both its contents and price range, a clear five star item.
TIP: if the white cover starts to look grubby, roll or dab a clean piece of blue-tack over the affected area; unless it's a stain, it should clean up quite well.