The Art of Dress: Clothes Through History 1500-1914

Overview

A fascinating account of the history of dress over the past four centuries, this volume is a sumptuous visual feast for all costume designers, historians, fashion students, and fashion lovers
 
The clothes worn by our ancestors afford an unparalleled insight into lifestyles that have disappeared forever. Here, Jane Ashelford has used the National Trust's stunning costume and textile collections as well as its historic house ...

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Overview

A fascinating account of the history of dress over the past four centuries, this volume is a sumptuous visual feast for all costume designers, historians, fashion students, and fashion lovers
 
The clothes worn by our ancestors afford an unparalleled insight into lifestyles that have disappeared forever. Here, Jane Ashelford has used the National Trust's stunning costume and textile collections as well as its historic house portraits, family correspondence, diaries, and household papers to produce a history that goes beyond a mere chronicle of cut, shape, and decoration. She looks at the social aspects of dress and what people of all ages wore at all levels of society, from swaddling bands to widow's weeds, describing not only garment details and the manner of wearing in historical context but also offering excerpts from writings by contemporaries. Men's, women's, children's, and servant's attire and accessories provide vital information about the taste, preoccupations, and aspirations of the individuals who wore them, and the world in which they lived.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Costume historians and students should welcome this rich source of information . . . but general readers will enjoy this book as well. Highly recommended."  —Library Journal

"Fascinating facts will allure readers, as will the incredibly wide range of subjects."  —Booklist

Library Journal
During the four centuries treated here, fashion was the province of rank and wealth; myriad conventions applied to all occasions and social strata. Historian Ashelford offers not only descriptions of garment details and of the manner of wearing in historical context but also excerpts from writtings by contemporaries. Her presentation is synchronized with over 260 paintings, drawings, and photographsEngland's National Trust allowed remarkably well-preserved period garments to be taken out of storage and photographed for this sumptuous volume. Men's and women's attire are discussed in depth, and a chapter each is devoted to children's and servants' clothing. Costume historians and students should welcome this rich source of informationthere is a lengthy section of notesbut general readers will enjoy this book as well. Highly recommended.Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781905400799
  • Publisher: National Trust, Aylesbury
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 988,757
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Ashelford is also the author of The Care of Clothes.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
1 Gorgeous Attyre 1500-1603 15
2 Careless Romance 1603-1660 55
3 Wigs & Drapery 1660-1720 87
4 Uniformly Elegant 1720-1780 121
5 Perfect Cut & Fit 1780-1850 167
6 Tyranny of Fashion 1850-1914 211
7 Swaddling to Sailor's Suits: Children's Clothes 273
8 Dress Suitable to their Station: Clothes for Servants 289
Notes 304
List of Plates 311
Select Bibliography 314
Index 315
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