The Art of Dress
Costume in Detail
Couture: The Great Designers
Couture Sewing Techniques
A Dictionary of Costume
From Queen to Empress
Gowns by Adrian
Patterns of Fashion 1
Patterns of Fashion 2
The Way We Wore

Couture: The Great Designers
By Caroline Rennolds Milbank

A breathtaking pictorial look at the work of some of the world's greatest couture designers. At over 400 pages, many of which include color photographs, this work covers such designers as Dior, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Worth, Poiret, Schiaparelli, Claire McCardell, Grés and more.

While the book is mainly a pictorial look at designer's work (and a good one at that!), it does include a short biographical text about the designer, what influenced them, and how the House has faired since it was opened. I was especially pleased to see such designers as Valentina and Lucille were included, as their work so often is neglected or overshadowed by the 'big' designers like Dior and Chanel. My only quibble with the book is that it's not longer and doesn't show more of certain House's more vintage work. Couture was written in the 1980s, which is reflected throughout the more current designs that were featured.

A splendid book for gleaning inspiration from, or would make a great addition to anyone's coffee table. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, it is out of print, but easily to obtain second hand online. --Reviewed by Miss C.

4 stars out of 5

Artwork is October (1877) by James Tissot, courtesy of CGFA.

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