• film analysis
  • thematic essays
  • year overview

1869

In 1869, women were beginning to wear bustled silhouettes, often with trains. Bright synthetic dyes continued to be popular and a taste for 18th-century revival elements like the polonaise was growing.

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

toga picta

A type of toga worn by an elite few in Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire that was richly embroidered, patterned and dyed solid purple.

tablion

A rectangular panel, often ornamented with embroidery or jewels, attached to the front of a cloak. Worn as a sign of status by Byzantine emperors and other important officials.

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

1747 – Arthur Devis, Mr. and Mrs. Bull

Arthur Devis's 1747 portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Bull seems to depict a quite fashionable couple in the year of their marriage in what we presume to be their home. But closer analysis reveals that much of the work is likely a fiction, though the clothes they're sporting--whether their own or imagined--remain fashionable.

1910-1919

Fashion at the start of the 1910s maintained elements of the previous decade, while beginning to move towards a simpler style. But mid-decade, World War I hit the Western world, causing fashion change to slow.

2015 – Ralph Lauren, denim three-piece suit

Playing on the tradition of the 1970s leisure suit, American designer Ralph Lauren, presented a three-piece denim suit as a part of his 2015 luxury Purple Label Collection. Hybridizing two classically favored menswear items such as the navy suit and contemporary favorite dark denim, Lauren is able to suggest the marriage of two very distinct garments. The look tiptoes the line between dressy and casual daring the fashion industry and consumers alike to keep evolving beyond the status quo.