Clothes define people. A person’s attire, whether it be a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential code to his or her culture, class, personality, even faith. Indeed, clothing has the power to define people and their generation. Recognizing this sartorial significance is the Kyoto Costume Institute, whose team of curators examine fashion through sociological, historical, and artistic perspectives. With one of the world’s most extensive clothing collections, the KCI has amassed a wide range of historical garments, including underwear, shoes, and fashion accessories dating from the 18th century to the present day.
Showcasing the Institute’s vast collection, Fashion History is a fascinating excursion through clothing trends from the 18th to the 20th century. With photographs of clothing displayed on custom-made mannequins and commentary from some of the sharpest minds in fashion studies, the book is a testimony to attire as “an essential manifestation of our very being” and to the Institute’s passion for fashion as a complex and intricate art form.