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19th-Century Fashion in Detail (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Lucy Johnston


A unique insight into the history of 19th-century fashion, explored through sumptuously detailed photography of the some of the world’s most luxurious garments

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The fashions of the 19th century continue to capture the imagination, but surviving examples are often too fragile to be on display, let alone frequently handled and studied. This book offers an invaluable opportunity to explore such garments in detail, from their elaborate trimmings, refined embroidery and lavish drapery to their restrictive corseting and impeccable tailoring. Their range is broad, from early designer dresses to Indian-inspired printed cottons, and from petticoats and brightly coloured corsets to feathered capes and dramatic sleeves.

Part of the 'Fashion in Detail' series, this book, now fully revised and updated, explores the opulence and diversity of 19th-century costume. A new, comprehensive introduction illuminates the history of fashion throughout the century, while each of the succeeding chapters explores particular techniques or elements of fashionable dress. Each garment is clearly illustrated with close-up photographs and specially commissioned line drawings, and is accompanied by a commentary by leading experts in historical dress, making this one of the most authoritative and beautiful studies of 19th-century fashion.

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'A visual feast for the eyes … indispensable'
Journal of Dress History

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 29.0 x 20.5 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Publication date: 3 November 2016

ISBN: 9780500292648

Contents List

Introduction • 1. Construction Techniques • 2. Tailoring • 3. Trimmings • 4. Painted and Woven Textiles • 5. Embroidery • 6. Buttonings and Fastening • 7. Technological Innovations • 8. Collars, Sleeves and Pockets • 9. Accessories

About the Author

Lucy Johnston is an expert in historical dress and a former curator in the Department of Textiles and Dress at the V&A. She is now a freelance curator and museum consultant specializing in fashionable dress, shoes and rural workers’ clothing. Her publications include 19th-Century Fashion in Detail.

Helen Persson is former Curator of Chinese Textiles and Dress in the Victoria and Albert Museum's Asia Department.

Marion Kite is Head of the Furniture, Textiles & Fashion Conservation Section at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

List of Contributors

Helen Persson, Marion Kite, Richard Davis, Leonie Davis