Art and Architecture Collection > Costume and Fashion History: A Guide to Resources

Selected Internet Sites

Internet resources on costume and fashion history can be problematic. Quality control remains a serious issue for sites that are built to feature costume history, and the actual number of such sites is limited. A majority of these sites have a commercial basis or creator. Therefore, the areas of contemporary fashion business, advertising, and haute couture are better represented online. Major designers often have their own sites.

Useful, representative sites:

  • 15th century Female Flemish Dress: A Portfolio of Images
    http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/sca/15th/index.html
    Images of women from artworks such as monumental brasses, tomb sculpture, and paintings showing the gradual changes in upper class clothing
  • Bavarian Folk Costume: Graphic Dictionary
    http://www.marquise.de/en/ethno/bayern/baydic.shtml
    Medieval through 19th century traditional Bavarian costumes with images drawn from a variety of historical sources.
  • Bisonnette on Fashion: A Visual Dictionary
    http://dept.kent.edu/museum/costume/
    Timeline of changes in silhouettes, accessories, lingerie and hairstyles from 18th to 20th century for men, women and children on Kent State University Museum site. Uses detailed photos of original garments.
  • Costume Society of America
    http://www.costumesocietyamerica.com/
  • Dragon Robes of China's Last Dynasty
    http://www.sdmart.org/dragonrobes/contents.html
    Qing Dynasty dragon Robes in the San Diego Museum of Art with detailed images, history of chinese symbols, silkworms and silk industry. Includes bibliography and glossary
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
    http://www.fitnyc.edu/aspx/Content.aspx?menu=PresentGlobal:Museum
    The Fashion Institute of Technology has an online collection of fashion drawn from its collection, news about its museum exhibitions, & special educational programs for students and public
  • Footwear of the Middle Ages
    http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/shoe/SHOEHOME.HTM
    Examination of footwear and shoemaking history and techniques
  • From Paris to Providence: Online Exhibition
    http://tirocchi.stg.brown.edu/exhibition/fashion/teen09.html
    Fashion,Art and the Tirocchi Dressmakers shop 1915-1947 showing detailed images of garments influenced by art deco, cubism and other art styles
  • Museum of Costume
    http://www.museumofcostume.co.uk/how_to_find_us.aspx
  • The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
    http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/department.asp?dep=8&vW=1
    Fabulous collection of costumes, textiles, and accessories supported by a superb library and staff. Famous for its exhibitions online and in the museum.
  • The Costume Page
    http://costumepage.org
    Maybe the most extensive website of links on costume & fashion, and textiles.
  • The Costume Society
    http://www.costumesociety.org.uk/journal.html
    The Costume Society
  • The History of Costume by Braun & Schneider 1880
    http://www.siue.edu/COSTUMES/history.html
    Colored costume images covering dress from antiquity to late 19th century. Printed in Germany 1861-1880.
  • The Regency Fashion Page
    http://locutus.ucr.edu/~cathy/reg3.html
    Regency lover's page with real clothing, fashion plates and regency portraits.
  • University of Washington Fashion Plate Collection
    http://content.lib.washington.edu/costumehistweb/index.html
    American and European fashion plates from 19th century and early 20th century fashion journals such as le bon ton. Hand colored engravings and lithographs.
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/
    British museum of art & design has a website full of links, wonderful exhibitions and educational programs showcasing their own historical collections and contemporary designers work.