After months of well deserved attention and anticipation, countless publishing parties and debut events, on July 15th, 2010, the 10 volume Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion by Joanne B. Eicher was released.  Hitting the shelves like a bolt of lightning, of which thundering aftershocks are still being felt almost 6 months later, the newest, and perhaps most exciting surprise behind this global sensation, reached our ears only days ago.  The Oxford University Press, heralded for expertly taking the lead in publishing this huge series, has now released the Encyclopedia’s sister, the Berg Fashion Library…online.  Though somewhat different in its form and content, this sister library is just as bold and just as beautiful as her counterpart.  For scholars, professors, students, or devoted fashionistas, this is it:  the moment upon which great things are made.  Selling for just under $2,000, the 10 volume collection is as rare as a snowy day in August, hard for even the most suave connection to secure.

Spanning the globe from biblical times to present day, the Encyclopedia is the first in history to discuss, comprehensively, all topics relevant to the study of individuals, groups, and entire world cultures and their complex relationships to dress, costume, and the art of fashion.  Each volume covers a different geographical region (i.e., Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, The United States & Canada, South Asia & Southeast Asia, etc.), written from the lifetime work of over 720 academics and scholars.  With 760 articles and over 2,000 photographs and illustrations, it has continued to shake ground the world over.  Hold your Prada bags tight;  next month’s paycheck will go towards bringing this grand piece of history into your living room, before it’s, well, history.

On Friday, October 22nd, 2010, the Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion launch event took place on the University of Minnesota campus at the College of Design in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Pictured left are pieces from the night’s show, celebrating the beauty of fashion at one of the most renowned design schools in the nation.

For other great reads and fashion finds, peruse the following:

 Fashioning Fashion:  European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 by Sharon Sadako Takeda, Kaye Durland Spilker, and John Galliano.

The Berg Companion to Fashion, edited by Valerie Steele.

The Dictionary of Fashion History by Valerie Cumming, C. W. Cunnington, and P. E. Cunnington.

Posted by : Courtney O’Kane Academy of Art University Alumna at 03:13 AM (IST)