The Vogue History of 20th-Century Fashion

Jane Mulvagh, Author, Jan Mulvagh, Author, Valerie Mendes, Introduction by Viking Books $50 (416p) ISBN 978-0-670-80172-5
In staggering detail, this coffee-table album proceeds year by year, from 1909 to 1986, recording shifting styles in dresses, coats and blouses, fluctuating hemlines, changing hues. In a book packed with hundreds of black-and-white photographs and drawings from Vogue , Mulvagh ( Costume Jewelry in Vogue ) lamely attempts to treat fashion as a barometer of social change. Thus we hop from the Edwardians' movement-restricting gowns to the ``sober, adaptable'' styles necessitated by WW I, to late '50s defiance embodied in the miniskirt, then on to the Japanese influx of the '70s, punk, New Romanticism, and so forth. But this showcase, garbed in promotional brochure lingo (``Hats made a comeback''; `` . . . the silhouette took a soft turn'') succeeds mainly as a visual repository festooned with slender Vogue models with pouts and turned-up noses. All the big names and many lesser lights of haute couture are here. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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