The book is clearly split into decades, which gives a comprehensive overview of styles and trends from each era - from pattern design and graphics to fastenings, collars and hemlines, there are some phenomenal images of some of the defining and iconic styles of each era, all the way up to the 1980's.
1940's tea dresses
Striking 1940's frock
1950's floral prints
Decade by decade pattern design
1950's necklines and fitted shapes
1960's technicolour & pop art sensibilities
There are also some great archival photographs of some fantastically chic women
1920's Flapper style
The book also goes on to break down vintage fashion into individual elements, and has some excellent reference guides to everything from hats, gloves, handbags, knitwear and swimsuits across the decades.
Glamorous 1940's housecoats
Bold and colourful mid-century swimwear
Knitwear trends across the decades
Written and compiled by vintage fashion specialist Nicky Albrechsten who also runs Vintage Labels Studio in East London, an exhaustive archive of vintage fashions and well worth a look for stylists and designers.
Nicky was also behind another great vintage resource book we love, Scarves documenting neck-scarf design across the 20th century with some beautiful examples of key textile designers, patterns and surface design. Nicky co-wrote this with fellow vintage fashion expert Fola Solanke who we are thrilled to sometimes welcome at NLVM as a stallholder, bringing with her amazing original textiles, scarves and clothing from the 1920's onwards. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed to see when she's next in attendance!
Vintage Fashion Complete is in our opinion the only guide out there covering vintage style with such depth, invaluable to anybody with a passion for fashion of the past! More info about the title here
Vintage Fashion Complete, ISBN 9780500517611, 432pp, 1300 illustrations, 30.80 x 24.00 cm. Thames and Hudson 2014.