The Complete Fashion Sourcebook: 2000 illustrations charting 20th Century Fashion
By John Peacock
Thames & Hudson, 424 pages, 2005
Okay, so it’s not the flashiest or fashionable of fashion books, but the Complete Fashion Sourcebook has become something of a modern classic, if only for it’s sheer functionality. Bottom line: it’s a great, quick resource for any fashion-history buff or design aficionado. It’s laid out logically — by decade and then year within that — starting with the 1920s and up through the end of the 1980s. Simple illustrations show off all the popular design shapes and trends of the day, from day wear to evening wear, sportswear and even accessories and underwear. All details are plainly described and at the back you’ll find brief biographies of notable designers, again organized by decade, making it an all-in-one reference that eschews flowery prose and styled photos and gets back to no-nonsense fashion basics.