Fashion is all around us, and few of us are unaffected by it. Yet how many people know the origins of the little black dress, or the bowler hat, or the ladies trouser suit? How many people can pin down the famous brand of leather jacket Marlon Brando wore in The Wild One, or why the Chanel bag is known as the 2:55 bag? How to Read Fashion identifies the main fashion trends of the past 200 years and shows how they relate to contemporary styles. From Neo-Classical to Gothic, Empire to Punk, Military, and Designer Branding, the defining characteristics of each `look' are explained. Chapters on techniques and materials give additional technical grounding. The book then shows how all of these are applied in the world of men's and women's fashions, including formal, casual and leisure wear, as well as accessories, jewellery, hair styles and make-up. Both dip-in reference and stylish resource, How to Read Fashion will equip you with the visual vocabulary to understand, investigate and interpret styles.
Fiona Ffoulkes has worked in fashion and costume design for the past 30 years, including 15 years as a stylist for BBC and ITV. She has lectured in textiles and fashion at St Martins College of Art & Design and at the American University in Paris. Fiona is continuing research into the history of the French luxury clothing industry and has contributed to several publications, including Consumers and Luxury: Consumer Culture in Europe 1650-1850 (1999).