Being familiar with two earlier Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) publications The Evolution of Fashion (19th & 20th Century) and The Revolution of Fashion (18th Century) I was excited to discover that Taschen had produced a new book covering fashions from the 18th to the 20th Century found in the KCI collection. Although I was concerned that this new book might just be a revision and compilation of photos from the two earlier exhibits (with, perhaps, some additional costumes to cover the second-half of the 20th Century), at 700+ pages, I figured there must be at least a few new entries.
The book arrived today and I have been unable to put it down. As soon as I opened the book, I knew that my fears had been unfounded. The new book not only includes costumes found in the earlier books, but includes detailed close-ups of those costumes and many new costumes. The depth of color and detail in the photos is extraordinary. (Taschen is well known for the quality of its publications.) Although the text accompanying the photos is generally quite minimal limited in many cases to date, description and the inventory number of each piece it will often include some historical information in an introduction to a period or style. Moreover, many of the 20th Century entries are preceded by a short biographical sketch of the designer whose fashions follow.
The KCI is well-known for its extensive collection of Western costume. One of the Institute's rather unique features lies in its presentation of those costumes. Rather than laying the clothes out flat, they are displayed on manikins in the manner in which they would have been worn including shoes, hats, gloves, purses, fans, etc. Through this book, Taschen has succeeded in making the KCI collection accessible to the rest of the world.
(As testament to the quality and beauty of this book, two co-workers I showed the book to today people who are not costumers or designers have placed their orders for a copy.)
Without a doubt, this book will be a well-treasured addition to my library.
* If download links doesn't work. Please write a comment.Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century Download via usenet