Flip on the entertainment news, open an issue of a popular magazine, or step into any department store-and you'll appreciate the impact of the multibillion-dollar fashion industry on American culture. Yet its origins in the nineteenth-century "rag trade" of Jewish tailors, cutters, pressers, pedlars, and shopkeepers have yet to be fully explored. In this copiously illustrated volume, scholars from varied backgrounds consider the role of American Jews in creating, developing, and furthering the national garment industry from the Civil War forward. Drawn from an award-winning exhibition of the same title at the Yeshiva University Museum, A Perfect Fit provides a fascinating view of American society, culture, and industrialisation. Essays address themes such as the development of the menswear industry; the early film industry and its relationship to American fashion; the relationship of the American industry to Britain and France; the acculturation of Jewish immigrants and its impact on American garment making; advertising history and popular culture; and regional centres of manufacturing. This multivalent group of essays compellingly weaves together important threads of the complex history of the American garment industry.
Gabriel Goldstein served as curator of the exhibition "A Perfect Fit: The Garment Industry and American Jewry at the Yeshiva University Museum. A specialist in Jewish art and material culture, he served at the museum for more than two decades.Elizabeth Greenberg served as assistant curator and exhibition coordinator of the exhibition. Trained as a fashion historian at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology, she is now curator of fine arts at Siena College in Loudonville, New York."