Old Stuff >> History of the Feminine Costume of the World

 Based on the recommendation on design*sponge, I perused the New York Public Library's digital image archives, and I discovered this book from 1927 that goes region by region dissecting the history of women's styles. 

Above is the chapter header for the Assyrian section, and then the following page in each chapter is titled "Fashionable Ladies" and depicts fashionable ladies of the respective region.

Chic draping in Assyria, no?

I think it's interesting that the chapter on the French region is given the title "The Comfortable Costumes of..." since it still seems that French women have mastered looking both chic and like their outfit came together effortlessly.  They never look like they tried too hard.

Then, there are more detailed pages for each region on things like sleeves, skirts, shoes, and jewelry...

I particularly liked the jewelry page for Gaul.  #2, at top middle, looks a LOT like the Cartier love bracelet, no?  Wonder if that was a classic French style and that's where they got the inspiration? 

#19 (bottom right) looks like the inspiration for the "bit" motif, based on the actual piece of equestrian equipment, and made classic by Gucci on their bit loafers, like these below.  Didn't realize it had been a motif in jewelry for so long as well!

The original inspiration for the gladiator sandals of today...

Also, WHAT are those sock/shoe things (#3) at top middle that are like socks with men's faces on them?  With mustaches??

Finally, thought this montage of fabrics from Europe was interesting...

Compare to the fabrics of India...

You could learn so much about textile history from comparing the different countries' fabrics in this book!

Other than those mustache slippers, seems like this book would provide endless inspiration and reference material for modern designers...

More from this book here.
NYPL Digital Gallery here.

1 comment:

  1. Dying over the mustache slippers! What the heck!? Besdies those, so cool though - I've finally caught up in project runway this season, and the designers should definitely do an assyrian-inspired challenge at some point.


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