Fashion is a central feature of contemporary society, especially for a country that has made the "Made in Italy" label its calling card on the international scene. But Italian supremacy is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of fashion, which has its roots in the Middle Ages. In this book one of the major Italian historians of fashion provides an engaging and light-hearted account of the history of fashion. After having described the various ages of fashion, in which the dominating countries were Italy, then Spain, and finally France, for quite a long time, the author updates the chronicle up to the present day, touching on various topics including the constituent elements of fashion, the evolution of tailors' role, the importance of luxury, the use of clothing for signalling status and place affiliations, and the ever-changing taste for colours, lines, loose or tight-fitting forms, corsets, and petticoats.
Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli teaches Medieval History and History of Cities at the University of Bologna.