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20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment (1966)

por François Boucher

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From the primitive clothes of prehistoric times to the whimsical fashions of today, the history of costume is a vast and popular subject. Why did people of a certain period dress in a particular way? How did contemporary fashion reflect the current social scene? Why did it vary from country to country? These and countless other questions are answered in this comprehensive survey. A fascinating text explores an endless succession of styles and fashions, materials and accessories, while nearly 1,200 illustrations drawn from every conceivable source - engravings, paintings, manuscript illuminations, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and photographs - provide a vivid, almost cinematic accompaniment to the text.… (mais)
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I loved checking this book out from the library when I was younger. It was fun. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
As TRINA (LT) points out, fashion can be extremely frivolous, and also can speak volumes about ourselves in seconds.

{We've only been living in Cities for 6-8000 years; only had Agriculture for 12-18,000 years. Only had language for what, maybe 50,000 years? The earliest known humans are the 160,000 year old Huerto skulls from Ethiopia.}

{But back 30,000 years when we were first limning the Chauvet Cave with paint, and carving Venus, lo, the decorative cordage, the shell-nut necklace, the delta skirt. [22] We had yet to build cities or temples or palaces, but we most certainly had "Fashion"!}

Clothing is covering of the body. Costume is the particular choice of form of garment, reflecting physical conditions, technology, and social factors--beliefs, status, aesthetics. [9] Two theories of Costume: (1) The Greek/Chinese -- the covering starts from the physical, a protection from elements. (2) The Biblical -- the covering is invoked for modesty, magic, or the desire to please.

(Both of these grand theories, and neither of them, are correct.)

Two Helpful (accurate) Chronologies:

II. Prehistoric - on page 31.

III. Western Asia - 75.

Note the history of "pants" -- first introduced to civilization by horse "barbarians" [53, 68]. As late as Rome, men wore skirts.

Omits details on non-European parts of the world, which may be understandable in light of the differences of costume, village by village; still, the title promised so much more. Also neglects the history of Sumptuary Laws, and class restrictions coming under color of usually false "religious" mandates, with their influence on fashion. ( )
  keylawk | Jul 8, 2008 |
My mum got this for me for my birthday, and i love it! It's got lots of beautiful pictures of people and dresses, and covers many centuries rather well detailed. I just love looking at the pictures and dreaming about the dresses!

A Beautiful read and well, mostly, view. ( )
  Fleur-De-Lis | Apr 13, 2006 |
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If one admits that clothing has to do with covering one's body, and costume with the choice of a particular form of garment for a particular use, is it then permissible to deduce that clothing depends primarily on such physical conditions as climate and health, and on textile manufacture, whereas costume reflects social factors such as religious beliefs, magic, aesthetics, personal status, the wish to be distinguished from or to emulate one's fellows and so on?
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From the primitive clothes of prehistoric times to the whimsical fashions of today, the history of costume is a vast and popular subject. Why did people of a certain period dress in a particular way? How did contemporary fashion reflect the current social scene? Why did it vary from country to country? These and countless other questions are answered in this comprehensive survey. A fascinating text explores an endless succession of styles and fashions, materials and accessories, while nearly 1,200 illustrations drawn from every conceivable source - engravings, paintings, manuscript illuminations, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and photographs - provide a vivid, almost cinematic accompaniment to the text.

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