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Isms: Understanding Fashion Paperback – February 2, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An insightful guide elucidating the significant design trends and movements that have shaped costumes and style from ancient times through today." ~Florida International

"[This book]  catalogs a look and places it in a timeline charting five centuries of costume and fashion, so you can see what informed each design and which fads it sparked in turn." ~San Francisco

"A go-to book for understanding the glorious evolution of fashion... This fantastically handy and informative guide will help you understand the historical context of your Prada platforms, and make you wonder what is yet to come in the wide world of how we clothe ourselves." ~Blogue

"It is part history, part fashion adviser, part anthology, and all fun.  A must for lovers of all this chic!" ~Le Petite Blog

"This terrific little book is an informative and engaging pocket-sized guide for fashion aficionados with an avid interest in the art and history of fashion." ~Vidcat

"An engaging purse-sized guide to style trends..." ~FashionTribes.com

About the Author

Mairi MacKenzie is a Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies at The London College of Fashion. She has written and taught on fashion eras from the early modern to the present day and has curated numerous exhibitions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789318261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789318268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a marvelous little book about the history of western fashion from the 17th century onward. The author and editors have done a fine job of selecting examples from museum collections and period paintings that illustrate basic and diverse trends in fashion. The photographs are outstanding, and the accompanying text fleshes out how consumer values and the availability of dyes and other resources have impacted clothing design.

An overarching theme of the book is how fashion evolved from serving a small, elite, group of people to the everyday working person. A second theme is how fashion has both imprisoned and liberated women (and men) from the standpoint of choice and body image. For readers that have lived more than two decades on the planet, parts of the book are a delightful flashback to what we were forced to wear during our formative years as well as what our parents wore as we grew up. Is it any wonder that we'd rather not wear such clothes again no matter how "cool and retro" they look to the newest generation?

This book is a great gift for anyone addicted to watching period piece film or who has felt bewildered over the years trying to navigate women's changing fashions.

My one pet peeve is the size of the book and the print--especially the detailed photo captions. Surely a book so well researched, written, and executed deserves a bigger format with more space.
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Format: Paperback
the only thing i was a bit surprised about was how small this book was. i guess i was imagining more of a textbook/coffee table book size, so just have that in mind. other than that, excellent book, excellent seller!
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Format: Paperback
This analysis of fashion is presented with a global eye and while interesting enough to read from cover to cover as a chronological story could also be used as a reference guide. It presents timelines for easy view of overlapping trends, a glossary of fashion terms, glossary of notable names, and global exhibitions. It also acts as a starting point for resources of additional study.

The brevity of each ism may leave something to be desired for a studied fashion student, but for the average fashionista ...ism: understanding fashion is the right dose of information to be inspiring, entertaining, and educational.

read more on my blog [...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a perfect, comprehensive book that includes all the fashion movements in history since the 17th century. Perfect little book essential to anyone who is interested in fashion and its history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I only wish it was a larger volume so there could be more photos included. Obviously, at this brief length the authors can't cover the material in great detail but this is a really good survey.
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