Book Review – FASHION: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century

The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute – TASCHEN.

I am not a costume designer. I can operate a sewing machine but I have no idea how to put a simple dress together. Still, I couldn’t resist the eye candy in this book. I’m talking about seven! hundred! pages! of large images of spectacular clothing with close-ups of fabric, embroidery, lace, fringe, buttons, bows, hats and yes, even some shoes!

From the front flap:

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 collections and has curated many exhibitions worldwide. With an emphasis on Western women’s clothing, the KCI has amassed a wide range of historical garments, underwear, shoes, and fashion accessories dating from the 18th century to the present day. Showcasing a vast selection of skilled photographs from the Institute’s archives, … FASHION is a fascinating excursion through the last three centuries of clothing trends.

There is some informational text at the beginning of each century division and every image has a notation describing or explaining some aspect of the article shown.

I have scanned a few random images to give you just a hint of what is here.

The KCI’s current exhibit can be seen here. (Note the use of Playstation for
viewing. Now there’s a twist.)



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