This wonderful book just arrived at work, Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail 1700-1915. It was published to coincide with an exhibition celebrating the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's acquisition of a large number of European clothing and accessories. The book is lavishly illustrated with beautiful photographs, much like the Fashion in Detail books, although I do like the fact that this gives you both a full length photo of the garment as well as closeups showing details of the construction and decoration.
This mantle, from Paris in around 1891, is wool and silk velvet, embroidered with metallic thread and glass beads, and with an ostrich feather trim. You can see a closeup of the embroidery at the back the garment in the photo at the top of this post.
As well as several interesting essays at the beginning of the book, there is a timeline of the periods covered, illustrated with costumes photographed on the same mannequins so you can really get a feel for the silhouette of each period. The remainder of the book is divided into three sections: Textiles, Tailoring, and Trim. This green suit from around 1760 in France, made of wool and heavily embroidered with metallic thread, sequins and silk, weighs over 9 pounds! There are a couple of great closeups of the embroidery, including a double-page spread of the front of the waistcoat.
The back view of a woman's dress from the House of Rouff, Paris, around 1897. There is a wide selection of clothing in the book, and a lot of accessories as well, including a variety of underwear (even a man's corset) and other things such as parasols, fans, beaded purses and slippers, bonnets, and even a pair of fetish boots from 1900! Although there is probably twice as much women's clothing in the book than there is men's, there are some truly splendid examples of embroidered waistcoats, smoking caps, and 18th century French suits. If you are interested in seeing some outstanding examples of tailoring and embroidery, this is the book for you!
All photos are from the LACMA website.