Understanding Fashion History


  • 144 Pages
  • 8¼x10 Paper
  • Index
  • Color and B&W Illustrations
  • Costume & Fashion Press / QSM
  • 9780896762534
  • 0-89676-253-X

Understanding Fashion History is a discussion on how fashion history is studied, taught, and curated.

Included topics are:

  • What is dress? How is dress studied? Why is dress studied?
  • Public and private collecting of dress. Forming public collections of dress 1850-1970. Collections and their museums: three English examples
  • Dress in art. Dress and fashion as art.
  •  Uniforms and occupational dress. Ceremonial dress
  • theatrical dress: costume or fashion?



Valerie Cumming

Valerie Cumming is a dress historian with over 30 years experience in museums, initially as a costume curator, then as a senior administrator, and as the chair of the Olive Matthews Collection at Chertsey Museum.  She has served as lecturer and writer, Costume and Textile curator at the Museum of London and the Court Dress Collection, Kensington Palace. She has been visiting lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is the author of The Visual History of Costume Accessories, The Visual History of Costume (with Aileen Riberio), A Visual History of Costume in the 17th Century,Costume History 1500-1900, Gloves in the Costume Accessories Series and Understanding Fashion History. She served as Chair of The Costume Society from 2004 to 2009.


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