Here, in more than 1,250 full-colour illustrations, is the most comprehensive and detailed history and sourcebook of fashion in the modern era ever published. From the styles of the early 1900s to those of the 21st century, John Peacock charts the development of women’s fashion in all its aspects: couture wear, underwear, leisure wear, day wear, evening wear, bridal wear and accessories.
Fashion’s greatest international designers and designs are all found here: from Worth's visiting dress, Chanel's suits, Balenciaga's classic gowns, Dior's New Look, Courrèges' space-age creations and Mary Quant's mini-dresses to recent designs from the collections of Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood and others.
Photography could never capture so faithfully the dazzling variety of these designs: indeed, many which predate the advent of colour photography have never before been shown in their original colours. John Peacock's wide-ranging research, using not only paintings and photographs but also the garments themselves, has allowed him to reproduce in meticulous detail their lines, shapes, weaves, patterns and colours. Arranged decade by decade, the pictures are accompanied by complete descriptions of each garment and accessory, including the fabric, colour, cut and pattern. Every detail – collars, cuffs, pockets, buttons and trimmings – is noted.
In this fully revised edition of Peacock’s standard book, 155 new drawings have been added, together with detailed descriptions. The updated reference section includes a time chart summarizing the development of fashion and dress-shapes, biographies of individual couturiers and designers, and a concise bibliography. This volume is the unrivalled reference work in its field, indispensable to any fashion enthusiast, historian or collector, and to any designer or student working in the performing arts.