21 April 2015

The Worldwide History Of Dress

The Worldwide History Of Dress
There have been many histories of costume, though The Worldwide History Of Dress (published by Thames & Hudson) is the first truly comprehensive example ("destined to be the standard reference work on the subject", according to the blurb). Patricia Rieff Anawalt's book covers traditional clothing, jewellery, and other forms of adornment, across all geographical regions from pre-historic times onwards. There are 1,000 illustrations, almost all of which are in colour, plus an extensive bibliography.

Le Costume Historique (1876-1888), by Auguste Racinet, was the first attempt at a complete costume history, though its illustrations were all engravings. Millia Davenport's The Book Of Costume (two volumes; 1948) and Francois Boucher's 20,000 Years Of Fashion (updated in 1987) were the most extensive costume histories thus far, though (like most books on the subject) their coverage was restricted to Western dress. The three-volume Encyclopedia Of Clothing & Fashion (edited by Valerie Steele) is as comprehensive as Anawalt's book, arranged in an A-Z format.

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