20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment

Francoise Bouchet-Saulnier, Author, Yvonne Deslandres, With ABRAMS $50 (459p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1693-7
This scholarly, absorbing history of dress, an updated edition of a 1966 reference work, ranges from prehistoric costume through present fashion. From antiquity to the 14th century, costume was generally long, loose and draped, not nationalistic in character, and reflected magical and religious functions. From the 14th century, when costume became short and fitted, to the 19th century, clothing acquired personal and national characteristics. The third fashion phase, under the influence of industrial mass-production and European expansionism, beginning in the mid-19th century and continuing to the present, is less personal and more international, although there are also exclusive haute-couture designs for moneyed clientele. Readers will delight in the superior 1188 illustrations, including 356 full-color plates, that feature a bell-shaped, skirted terracotta idol from the eighth century B.C., sixth century B.C. funerary stele of the warrior Ariston, late 13th century Sicilian silk cloth, 17th century Rubens and Van Dyck and 19th century Renoir portraits, and a 1965 Saint Laurent minidress. The late Boucher and Deslandres were director and assistant, respectively, of the French Center for Costume Studies. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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