High Fashion

High Fashion

The 20th Century Decade by Decade

  1. Emmanuelle Dirix
  • ISBN 9780500518076
  • 24.60 x 19.00 cm
  • PLC (no jacket)
  • 224pp
  • With 166 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2016

A history of haute couture in the 20th century, decade by decade

‘Turning the pages of this lively book is like rummaging with a fancy dress box overflowing with clothes from the 20th century … Dirix is a fabulous guide'’ – Daily Mail

What defined the way women dressed in the 1930s? When did haute couture become off-the-peg? How did economic highs and lows influence style in the 1980s? High Fashion answers these questions and more by exploring fashion design in the 20th century, one decade at a time.

High Fashion

Each chapter looks at the significant stylistic changes that occurred in one decade and places them in a wider cultural and socioeconomic context. The designers whose work best represents their era are profiled and their key looks deconstructed, from the vertical silhouette of the 1900s to minimalism in the 1990s.

High Fashion combines thoughtful analysis with a carefully curated selection of archive images to create an invaluable resource for fashion students and a fascinating journey through 20th-century style for fashionistas. It reveals how styles have changed, what those changes tell us about individuals and society at that time, and how our current relationship with fashion was formed.

Featured designers include:
Jeanne Paquin | Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix
Maison Lucile | Paul Poiret
Jacques Doucet | Coco Chanel
Jean Patou | Callot Soeurs
Jeanne Lanvin | Madeleine Vionnet
Elsa Schiaparelli | Adrian
Madame Grès | Charles James
Christian Dior | Hubert de Givenchy
Cristóbal Balenciaga | Pierre Balmain
Pierre Cardin | Emilio Pucci
Yves Saint Laurent | Halston
Ralph Lauren | Kenzo
Christian Lacroix | Thierry Mugler
Yohji Yamamoto | Gianni Versace
Calvin Klein | Martin Margiela

Emmanuelle Dirix is a lecturer at Chelsea College of Art & Design, Central Saint Martins, the Royal College of Art, and the Antwerp Fashion Academy. She has contributed to many fashion books, including Birds of Paradise: Plumes & Feathers in Fashion and Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion.