The 20th century saw fashion evolve from an exclusive Parisian salon business catering to a wealthy elite into a global industry employing millions, with new trends whisked into stores before the last model has left the catwalk. Along the way, the signature silhouettes of each era evolved beyond recognition. For women, House of Worth crinolines gave way to Vionnet’s bias-cut gowns, Dior’s New Look to Quant’s Chelsea Look, Halston’s white suit to Frankie B.’s low-rise jeans. In menswear, ready-made suits signaled the demise of bespoke tailoring, long before Hawaiian shirts or skinny jeans entered the fore.
20th-Century Fashion offers a retrospective of the last hundred years of style via 400 fashion advertisements from the Jim Heimann Collection. The images trace not only the changing trends but also the evolution in their marketing and audience, as fashion was adopted into popular culture and the mass market, decade by decade. An in-depth introduction and illustrated time line detail the style-makers and trendsetters and how the historic events, design houses, retailers, films, magazines, and celebrities shaped the way we dressed—then and now.
Alison A. Nieder has worked in fashion since 1985, in retail, apparel production, and as a fashion business journalist. She is executive editor of California Apparel News, a fashion trade publication covering the West Coast apparel and textile industries.
Cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America, and author of numerous books on architecture, pop culture, and the history of the West Coast, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has been featured in museum exhibitions around the world and in dozens of books.