What People Wore When combines the studies of two classic nineteenth-century illustrators Auguste Racinet and Friedrich Hottenroth for the first time. Their works are presented first by chronology and then by subject, so that illustrators, historians, and students alike can choose to follow the path of fashion through the centuries, or study in detail the contrasting styles of individual clothing and accessories. Silhouettes reveal the shape of style through the ages, detailed cross-references draw attention to recurring motifs, and navigation bars help the researcher to travel the complex chronology of costume.
With authoritative narrative from leading experts in the history of costume, extraordinary contemporary quotes that reveal the impact of style in its day, detailed annotation, and an extensive glossary, the book provides a magnificent study of the rich vocabulary of style through the ages.
This attractive book will appeal to teens looking for quick answers for a last-minute assignment, and it will also be of interest to budding fashionistas and social historians. Leventon has combined current research on costume and dress through the ages with the detailed beauty of the work of two 19th-century illustrators, Auguste Racinet and Friedrich Hottenroth, to provide a historical and thematic examination of fashion and dress that is both comprehensive and readable. The volume works first and foremost as a reference book, and it is full of informative sidebars and copious cross-references. But it is worth browsing through because it is also full of gorgeous color pictures as well as silhouettes that show the changing shape of clothing and style through time. There is a lot of attention to detail, both visually and textually. The result is an exhaustive, entertaining tome that will be put to good use in reference departments and circulating collections alike.-Caitlin Fralick, Ottawa Public Library, ON