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Looking at Fashion: A Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques

Available September 2024 

Debra N. Mancoff

What is an epaulette? What is a hanbok? These clothing items—and hundreds more—are entertainingly explained and vividly illustrated in this accessible guide.

Whether in art or life, fashion makes a statement. It gives form to the temper of the times and the motives of the moment, charting shifts in society, status, technology, and economy. Fashion is shaped by both high and popular culture and reveals the influence of individuals from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Spanning the centuries and representing a global point of view, Looking at Fashion is a guide to the elements that make clothing practical, wearable, stylish, and distinctive. Created for scholars, students, fashionistas, and anyone who wants to expand their understanding of world culture through the history of dress, this book provides a rich and varied lexicon of the vocabulary that describes and explains the most essential components of garments and techniques of clothing construction. Ranging from basic pieces and their individual parts to structure, embellishments, and innovations, Looking at Fashion offers insights into the evolution of dress in terms of style, fit, and design. Gorgeous color illustrations, including paintings, photographs, historical garments, and custom drawings, reveal the interrelationship of fashion and art from antiquity to now.

Debra N. Mancoff explores the interconnections of fashion, art, and culture and has authored more than twenty books. She is a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

“An essential guide for historians of fashion and art, and for anyone wishing to better understand the significance of clothing, Debra N. Mancoff’s outstanding book provides a vocabulary for identifying garments, their construction, and the contexts in which they are worn. This lavishly illustrated guide will cultivate your eye for fashion and change your relationship to clothes.”
—Kristan M. Hanson, Fleming Museum of Art

“With a precise and sensitive eye, the author draws on paintings, photography, sculpture, and surviving garments to illustrate how fashion has been represented throughout history. This is a meticulously researched and refreshingly concise work that will appeal to scholars and fashion enthusiasts alike.”
—Lydia Edwards, Fashion Historian, Edith Cowan University

160 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/8 inches
120 color and 51 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-899-1 

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Publications
Series: Looking At