Fashion and Photography
A Pictorial Measuring Tape
One remarkable achievement of photography is how it records the fashions of everyday people as they change over time. Despite what fashion magazines say, photographs help separate fashion rhetoric from fashion reality. Nineteenth-century fashion writers described the latest fashions from Paris or gave advice as to what the well to do lady or gentleman should wear, while photography told a more accurate true story. Today commercial photography makes a great a record of elite fashion as do the millions of snapshots tell the truth about what people actually wear. But telling the truth about what people wore and when makes photographs a great asset to the historian or genealogist. Because fashions change with regularity and were amply recorded in photographs since photography became practical in 1839, the image becomes a measure by which photographs can be placed in time.
Fashion a La Carte, 1860-1900 : A Study of Fashion Through Cartes-De-Visite (History in Camera)
One of the few surveys of carte de visite images, this book explores Victorian fashion through the most popular type of Victorian photograph.
Fashions and Costumes from Godey's Lady's Book
Blum, Stella (Editor)
A compilation of fashions seen in the popular nineteenth-century woman's magazine Godey's Lady's Book. Delightfully illustrated with woodcuts (black and white drawings) and several color plates.
Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898
Blum, Stella (Compiler)
Excellent reference for Bustle era fashions. Illustrates all types of daily and evening fashions ladies wore through period silhouettes.
Everyday Fashions of the Twenties As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs
Blum, Stella (Editor)
Paperback - 152 pages (January 1982) Dover Pubns; ISBN: 0486241343 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.36 x 11.99 x 9.05
Like other books by Stella Blum, this excellent compilation of images from mail order catalogs should prove useful to anyone rediscovering their family snapshots. Wonderful images offer great accuracy in estimating dates. The reader will find it a fascinating excursion into the 1920s.
English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth-Century : A Comprehensive Guide With 1,117 Illustrations
Cunningham, C. Willett
Vintage Clothing 1880-1980 : Identification and Value Guide
Using a combination of period fashion illustrations, old photographs, contemporary photos of period clothes, and detailed captions, the volume traces the evolution of a century of clothing styles.
Victorian Goods and Merchandise: 2,300 Illustrations (Pictorial Archive Series)
Grafton, Carol Belanger (editor)
A compilation of illustrations from Victorian magazines and catalogs.
Collector's Guide to Vintage Fashions Identification and Values
Primarily a collector's guide to period costume. Although the price guide will not be helpful to the genealogist, the advice on fashion identification may help with those old fashions seen in photographs.
An Introduction to Civil War Civilians
An introductory account of civilian life during the civil war. Photographs in this book show what ordinary citizens wore during the conflict.
Dressed For The Photographer
Kent State Univ Press, 1997. 592 pages, illustrated. ISBN: 0873385128 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.64 x 11.26 x 8.73
Written by Joan Severa, a curator for the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Museum, this book is a must-read for those with an interest in the development of fashion and clothing, as well as those who are interested in the study of photography. It begins shortly after the advent of the camera in the mid-nineteenth century, when the daguerreotype, a "snapshot" for the mid-19th century, became readily available to the average American. Popular and reasonably inexpensive, sitting for one's portrait rapidly became the thing to do in all classes of society, including the poor. The resulting daguerreotype studios and the portraits they produced, are an engrossing subject for study, and Severa has taken full advantage of their availability, analyzing sixty years of American clothing from every social stratum. The universality of the subjects is one of the features that makes Severa's book such a success. Severa uses period photographs to illustrate her points and for the most part accurately places the photographs in time. By comparing a photograph from your family album to those reprinted in the book and following the textual descriptions, an estimate of when the photograph was made can be quickly formed. An image can often be placed in time more accurately by fashion that by photographic process. A few errors of interpretation can be seen in some of the photograph captions, but by and large she makes few mistakes. Dressed for the Photographer is aptly described as a "wonderful book" well deserving of a place on your reference shelf.
Victorian and Edwardian Fashion : A Photographic Survey
New York, New York: Dover Publications, 1981. Softcover. ISBN0844658898
Fascinating exploration of Victorian and Edwardian fashion as described in the ladies journals of the day versus the reality of fashion seen in period photographs. Gernsheim compares descriptions of the then latest styles culled from her extensive survey of period literature to the Victorian photographs in her collection. She separates the rhetoric of the fashion scribes from the reality of what people actually wore as seen through the camera as eyewitness to the Victorian Age. This book gives a good background to period fashion and is illustrated with photographs from each period discussed. The author chose photographs illustrating the fashions of more affluent classes, but they are representative generally. A more detailed examination of everyday costume, such as that found in Dressed for the Photographer or in one of the books reprinting fashion plates, may be more useful for the genealogist. However, Gernshiem's work remains a useful tool because clothing was a great leveler of class in the nineteenth-century. Manufactured clothing meant that the middle-class could be seen wearing costume indistinguishable from the wealthy.
American Dress Pattern Catalog, 1873-1909
La Mode Illustree : Fashion Plates in Full Color
Victorian Fashions 1880-1890, Vol. I
Hazel Ulseth, Helen Shannon
Paperback - 120 pages Vol 001 (February 1, 1988) Hobby House Pr; ISBN: 0875883095 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.45 x 10.90 x 8.34
Victorian ladies' fashions as seen through contemporary fashion publications dating from 1880 through 1890. Also included are 15 patterns for making a doll's outfit consisting of a frock, fur-trimmed cloak with matching bonnet and muff (fits a 23in [58cm] doll) adapted from an 1890 Delineator magazine. Over 285 photographs. 130 pages.
La Mode Illustree : Fashion Plates in Full Color
Florence Leniston (Editor), Joanne Olian (Translator)
Paperback - 64 pages (September 1997) Dover Pubns; ISBN: 0486298191 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.20 x 12.22 x 9.28
Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970 : Identification & Values
Who Wore What? : Women's Wear 1861-1865
Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century
Wedding Fashions 1862-1912 : 380 Costume Designs from 'LA Mode Illustree'
Olian, Joanne (editor)
American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs
Priscilla Harris Dalrymple.
Paperback - 108 pages (May 1991) Dover Pubns; ISBN: 0486265331 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.21 x 11.98 x 9.00
An excellent and profusely illustrated visual survey documenting Victorian costume through photographs.
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