This broad-based set surveys clothing, body adornment, and examines the origins of clothing, the development of fabrics and technologies, and the social meanings of dress. It also presents information on representative costumes from a wide variety of historical eras, which are frequently the topic of student research. Topics range from the bustle, sari, and toga to Polyester and body piercing. The short entries explain the history of garments (necktie, codpiece, cocktail dress, bathing suit, burqua, Nehru jacket), techniques and manufactures (batik, dry cleaning, zipper, stone washing), body adornment (makeup, mask, tattoo, wig), and important persons and institutions (Coco Chanel, Edith Head, Yves Saint-Laurent, Fashion Institute of Technology). The longer essays provide cultural context: class, gender, sumptuary laws, costume design for stage and screen, advertising; fashion careers; ecclesiastical dress; military uniforms; etc.
The set includes a comprehensive general index in the last volume, a timeline, and a topical outline. From the secondary school student writing a paper on dress among Native Americans to the university student interested in the underpinnings of clothing design, this set represents a unique and valuable source.
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2011 - Booklist - Editor's Choice
2012 - CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
2012 - RUSA's Outstanding Reference Sources
"Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion is an exciting and unique resource that excels in depth and range of coverage. It is highly recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries with a clientele interested in what and why people wear what they wear. "
"The 640 entries in this comprehensive encyclopedia, most illustrated with black-and-white photographs and illustrations, range from Academic Dress, including its origin and history, to Zoran, a contemporary fashion designer. Each volume has an eight-page section with photographs, portraits, and illustrations in color. Numerous sidebars elucidate such topics as the value placed upon silk for diplomatic uses and a glossary of textile terms. A complete index and outline of the entries grouped into broad categories are other useful features. This stellar achievement is an invaluable reference; it will be on my bookshelf for years to come.\n"
"Steele, a historian at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, has edited a comprehensive resource to clothing and contemporary fashion that will be useful to the general reader and the advanced high school and undergraduate student. "
"An exciting and unique resource that excels in depth and range of coverage, with 640 articles covering designers, trends, clothing types, fibers, techniques, adornment, and other topics in the relatively new discipline of fashion studies.\n"
"Students interested in fashion studies will feel validated by this academic source relating the clothes we wear to our place in culture and society. The 640 topical essays are arranged alphabetically, from academic dress to zoran. Entries range in length from half a page to multiple pages. Black and white photographs are numerous and each volume includes a center insert of color images. Some articles include intriguing sidebars. The work includes biographies of individuals who influenced fashion, for instance, Manolo Blahnik and Princess Diana. This is the second title in the Scribner Library of Daily Life reference series. The well-reviewed Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (2003) was first. This significant, well-researched, wide-ranging resource belongs in most high school reference collections. It is fun to browse as well!\n"
"Edited by Steele (Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body, and Culture) and with contributions from some 300 reputable academics, journalists, and fashion industry professionals, this impressive reference work surveys the relationship between culture and fashion through alphabetically arranged articles... recommended for both public and academic libraries owing to its wide appeal. "