AB: Bradfield – Costume in Detail

(This is an entry in the Annotated Bibliography.)

*Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail: Women’s Dress 1730-1930. Hollywood: Costume & Fashion Press, 2009.

This book offers an immense collection of skillful schematic drawings of a wide variety of garments over a large range of time, with painstaking accuracy and great thoroughness, offering dresses, jackets, outer garments, undergarments, trims, and accessories, as well as corollary re-drawings of contemporary images such as magazine engravings. Each image is accompanied by detailed notes, both handwritten and printed. While it does not contain pattern diagrams, and is not instructional, the schematic drawings are so detailed, many complete with measurements, that the book lends itself well to assisting in the construction of historical garments. Because it covers so many garments, it helps to give an overview. However, the fact that everything is drawn rather than photographed is in some ways a limitation, however accurate the drawings, and the handwritten notations are somewhat less easily deciphered than print. There is also some overlap in material with Janet Arnold’s works. Overall, this book is widely regarded by historical costumers as accurate and useful. It is not instructional but contains detailed, measured drawings. It contains monochrome line drawings. It contains a list of books consulted. I personally own this book, and would highly recommend it.

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