• film analysis
  • thematic essays
  • year overview

1868

In 1868, skirts with long trains were at the height of fashion, which resulted in noticeable cropping in images depicting this prevalent style of dress. Yet, at the same time, walking dresses became daringly short, showing off fashionable ankle boots.

  • ancient
  • early Middle Ages
  • 14th century
  • 15th century
  • 16th century

1420-1429

The duchy of Burgundy, enriched by the wealth of its Flemish cities, was the leading center of fashion during the 1420s. The Duke of Burgundy's alliance with England supported the production of the finest woolen textiles, woven in Flanders from English yarn. Merchants used their profits from manufacture and trade to rival aristocrats as the greatest consumers of Italian silk velvets and other luxuries. Throughout Europe, men dressed in black and women with tall, horn-shaped headdresses were signs of Burgundian influence.

  • 17th century
  • 18th century
  • 19th century
  • 20th century
  • 21st century

1650-1659

Women's bodices elongated in the 1650s coming to a point in the front, but in general evolved only slowly from the fashions of the previous decade; whereas men's doublets shrunk radically and their breeches expanded, becoming heavily ornamented with ribbon loops. With England under Cromwell's control, France takes the lead in fashion.

1800-1809

The nineteenth century opened with a fashion landscape that was changing dramatically and rapidly from the styles of a generation earlier. The French Revolution brought fashions that had been emerging since the 1780s to the forefront. Neoclassicism now defined fashion as both men and women took inspiration from classical antiquity. For women, the high-waisted silhouette in lightweight muslin was the dominant style, while fashionable men looked to the tailors of Britain for a new, refined look.

1898-1981 – Ann Lowe

No longer “society’s best kept secret” as the Saturday Evening Post called her, Ann Lowe is recognized as a pioneering African American couturier. Her pieces are preserved in renowned museum collections including the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum at FIT.