Fashion is an inescapable feature of contemporary society. But this has not always been the case. Fashion as we know it a tyrannical regulator of wardrobes, a mighty economic engine, a supreme authority of clothes consumption perhaps dates back to the 14th century, and in a stricter sense exists since the beginning of the Modern Age. The author of this book describes the evolution of fashion, from its roots in the Middle Ages, when garments were firm signs of social status, to later times when attire was used among the elegant Parisian aristocracy or in austere English style to convey its wearers taste, up to contemporary clothing democracy, high fashion, and prt--porter. The text is especially original in its analysis of fashion in India, China, and Japan, thus refuting the idea that fashion civilization is a distinctly European phenomenon.
Carlo Marco Belfanti teaches Economic History at the University of Brescia.