The best 17 Fashion History books

From ancient civilizations to modern runways, fashion has always played a significant role in society. Dive into the fascinating history of fashion with this curated book list. Explore the evolution of trends, styles, and the cultural influences that have shaped the way we dress.
Whether you're a fashion enthusiast or simply curious about the stories behind our favorite garments, these books will take you on a journey through time, unraveling the captivating world of fashion history.

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Fashion History Books: The Little Book of Chanel by Emma Baxter-Wright

The Little Book of Chanel

Emma Baxter-Wright

What's The Little Book of Chanel about?

The Little Book of Chanel by Emma Baxter-Wright is a captivating exploration of the iconic fashion house and its legendary founder, Coco Chanel. Filled with stunning photographs and insightful anecdotes, this book delves into Chanel's revolutionary designs, her influence on the fashion industry, and the timeless legacy she left behind. It's a must-read for anyone interested in the history of fashion and the woman who changed it forever.

Who should read The Little Book of Chanel?

  • Anyone interested in the history and legacy of Coco Chanel
  • Fashion enthusiasts and students looking to learn from the iconic designer's timeless style
  • People who appreciate luxury and haute couture

2
Fashion History Books: Slim Aarons by Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons

What's Slim Aarons about?

Slim Aarons by Slim Aarons is a stunning collection of photographs capturing the glamour and luxury of the 20th century. With images of celebrities, socialites, and beautiful landscapes, Aarons takes us on a visual journey through the world of the rich and famous. Each photo tells a story of elegance and sophistication, making this book a true masterpiece.

Who should read Slim Aarons?

  • Photography enthusiasts who appreciate glamorous lifestyle and elegant compositions
  • Individuals who admire the beauty of iconic women in luxurious settings
  • Art and fashion lovers seeking visual inspiration and timeless imagery

3
Fashion History Books: Les Petites Dames de Mode by John R. Burbidge

Les Petites Dames de Mode

John R. Burbidge

What's Les Petites Dames de Mode about?

Les Petites Dames de Mode by John R. Burbidge is a captivating book that delves into the world of miniature mannequins dressed in exquisite historical costumes. Through stunning photographs and detailed descriptions, the author takes readers on a journey through fashion history, showcasing the intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail in each tiny ensemble. A must-read for anyone with a passion for fashion and the art of miniatures.

Who should read Les Petites Dames de Mode?

  • Anyone with a passion for historical fashion and costume design
  • Collectors of dolls or miniature clothing
  • Artists looking for inspiration and reference for their creative projects

4
Fashion History Books: Costume in Detail by Nancy Margetts Br…, Nancy Bradfield

Costume in Detail

Nancy Margetts Br…, Nancy Bradfield

What's Costume in Detail about?

Costume in Detail is a comprehensive exploration of historical clothing and accessories, offering in-depth analysis and intricate illustrations that bring each garment to life. With a focus on the 17th and 18th centuries, this book provides a rich understanding of the construction, materials, and intricate details that contribute to the art of costume design.

Who should read Costume in Detail?

  • Students or professionals studying fashion design
  • Historical reenactors and costume enthusiasts
  • Costume designers for theater, film, or television

5
Fashion History Books: Supreme Models by Marcellas Reynolds

Supreme Models

Marcellas Reynolds

What's Supreme Models about?

Supreme Models by Marcellas Reynolds celebrates the trailblazing black models who have shaped the fashion industry. Through captivating stories and stunning photographs, the book highlights their influence and challenges the traditional standards of beauty. It offers a powerful and inspiring look at the impact of diversity in the world of modeling.

Who should read Supreme Models?

  • Individuals interested in fashion and modeling industry history
  • Aspiring models looking for inspiration and guidance
  • People who appreciate diversity and representation in the media

6
Fashion History Books: The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu

The Costume History

Françoise Tétart-Vittu

What's The Costume History about?

The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu is a comprehensive guide to the evolution of fashion and clothing styles throughout history. From ancient civilizations to modern times, this book explores the cultural, social, and artistic influences that have shaped the way we dress. Filled with beautiful illustrations and insightful commentary, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of fashion.

Who should read The Costume History?

  • Enthusiastic history and fashion enthusiasts looking for a comprehensive visual guide
  • Costume designers and fashion students seeking inspiration and reference material
  • Anyone curious about the evolution of clothing and its cultural significance

7

What's The Battle of Versailles about?

The Battle of Versailles by Robin Givhan takes us back to a historic fashion event in 1973. It chronicles the captivating clash between French and American designers at the Palace of Versailles, exploring the cultural and social implications of this showdown. Givhan skillfully weaves together interviews and behind-the-scenes accounts to bring this significant moment in fashion history to life.

Who should read The Battle of Versailles?

  • Individuals interested in the history of fashion and iconic fashion events
  • Fashion designers, students, and professionals looking for inspiration and insights
  • Readers who enjoy stories of creativity, innovation, and overcoming challenges

8
Fashion History Books: Dapper Dan by Daniel R. Day

Dapper Dan

Daniel R. Day

What's Dapper Dan about?

Dapper Dan is a memoir by Daniel R. Day, also known as Dapper Dan, a renowned fashion designer and entrepreneur. The book chronicles his journey from a childhood in Harlem to becoming a pioneer in the world of luxury fashion. Day shares his experiences, challenges, and triumphs, offering insights into the fashion industry and the power of self-expression.

Who should read Dapper Dan?

  • Readers who are interested in fashion, entrepreneurship, and African American history
  • Fans of memoirs and personal stories of overcoming adversity
  • Those seeking inspiration and motivation from a self-made success story

What's Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898 about?

Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898 by Stella Blum provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of fashion during the Victorian era. Through stunning illustrations and insightful commentary, the book explores the intricate designs, elaborate styles, and societal influences that shaped clothing and accessories during this time. It offers a comprehensive look at the trends and traditions that continue to inspire fashion today.

Who should read Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898?

  • Individuals interested in Victorian fashion and historical costume
  • Fashion designers looking for inspiration from 19th century styles
  • Historical reenactors and costume enthusiasts seeking authentic clothing references

10
Fashion History Books: The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

The Beautiful Fall

Alicia Drake

What's The Beautiful Fall about?

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake delves into the glamorous and cutthroat world of fashion in 1970s Paris. Focusing on the rivalry between iconic designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, the book offers a captivating glimpse into their creative genius, personal lives, and the extravagant parties and shows that defined an era.

Who should read The Beautiful Fall?

  • Individuals interested in the history of fashion and design
  • Fashion enthusiasts looking for insights into the lives of iconic designers
  • Readers who enjoy biographies and behind-the-scenes stories of the fashion industry

11
Fashion History Books: Alexander McQueen by Andrew Bolton

Alexander McQueen

Andrew Bolton

What's Alexander McQueen about?

Alexander McQueen by Andrew Bolton is a comprehensive exploration of the life and work of the iconic fashion designer. Filled with stunning images and insightful commentary, this book delves into McQueen's boundary-pushing designs, his unique creative vision, and the profound impact he had on the fashion industry.

Who should read Alexander McQueen?

  • Enthusiasts of fashion and haute couture
  • People interested in the life and work of iconic fashion designers
  • Individuals who appreciate artistic and creative expression in the realm of clothing and style

12

What's The Golden Age of Couture about?

The Golden Age of Couture by Claire Wilcox explores the extraordinary fashion revolution that took place after World War II. From Christian Dior's groundbreaking New Look to the extravagant creations of other renowned designers, this book delves into the glamour and innovation of 1950s fashion. Through stunning photography and insightful analysis, it offers a captivating glimpse into a pivotal era in the history of haute couture.

Who should read The Golden Age of Couture?

  • Enthusiasts of fashion history and haute couture
  • Students or professionals in the fashion industry seeking inspiration and insights
  • Art and design lovers interested in the intersection of creativity and craftsmanship

13
Fashion History Books: How to Read a Dress by Lydia Edwards

How to Read a Dress

Lydia Edwards

What's How to Read a Dress about?

How to Read a Dress by Lydia Edwards is a comprehensive guide that delves into the history and significance of women's fashion. Through detailed analysis of various dress styles, fabrics, and embellishments, the book offers a unique perspective on how clothing reflects social, cultural, and economic changes throughout different time periods. It is a must-read for fashion enthusiasts and anyone interested in the stories woven into the garments we wear.

Who should read How to Read a Dress?

  • History enthusiasts who want to learn about the evolution of fashion through clothing
  • Students and scholars focusing on costume history, textile studies, or fashion design
  • Curious individuals who enjoy exploring visual and material culture

14

What's The Medieval Tailor's Assistant about?

The Medieval Tailor's Assistant by Sarah Thursfield is a comprehensive guide to creating historically accurate clothing from the medieval period. With detailed instructions, patterns, and insights into the techniques used by medieval tailors, this book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in historical costume design and reenactment.

Who should read The Medieval Tailor's Assistant?

  • People with a passion for historical fashion and costume design
  • Reenactors or historical interpreters looking to accurately replicate medieval clothing
  • Sewing and crafting enthusiasts who want to expand their skills with historical techniques

15

What's Corsets and Crinolines about?

Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh is a comprehensive exploration of the history and development of women's undergarments. From the restrictive corsets of the 16th century to the voluminous crinolines of the 19th century, this book delves into the social, cultural, and technological factors that shaped these iconic garments. With detailed illustrations and insightful analysis, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of fashion and femininity.

Who should read Corsets and Crinolines?

  • Historical fashion enthusiasts keen to learn about the evolution of undergarments
  • Costume designers looking for in-depth insights into corsets and crinolines
  • Professionals in the fashion industry seeking inspiration from historical clothing construction

16
Fashion History Books: Corsets and Codpieces by Karen Bowman

Corsets and Codpieces

Karen Bowman

What's Corsets and Codpieces about?

Corsets and Codpieces by Karen Bowman takes readers on a fascinating journey through the history of fashion. From the restrictive and often painful garments worn by women in the name of beauty to the extravagant and sometimes comical attire of men, this book uncovers the social, political, and cultural influences behind our clothing choices. With wit and insight, Bowman reveals the surprising ways in which fashion has shaped and reflected society throughout the centuries.

Who should read Corsets and Codpieces?

  • History enthusiasts who are curious about the evolution of fashion
  • Individuals with a keen interest in social customs and cultural norms
  • Readers who enjoy engaging narratives that blend storytelling with academic research

17
Fashion History Books: The Taste of Luxury by Nadege Forestier,  Nazanine Ravai

The Taste of Luxury

Nadege Forestier, Nazanine Ravai
Bernard Arnault and the Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story

What's The Taste of Luxury about?

"The Taste of Luxury" takes readers on a journey through the world of high-end cuisine and fine dining. From exclusive restaurants to luxurious food and wine experiences, the book explores the opulent and indulgent side of the culinary world. With stunning photography and insightful commentary, it offers a glimpse into the extravagant and exquisite flavors that define luxury dining. Whether you're a food enthusiast or simply curious about the finer things in life, this book is sure to tantalize your taste buds and inspire your next gastronomic adventure.

Who should read The Taste of Luxury?

  • Readers captivated by the allure of the luxury industry
  • Individuals seeking behind-the-scenes insights from top fashion brands
  • Those interested in the journey of successful entrepreneurs


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