The Dress Detective is the first practical guide to analyzing fashion objects, clearly demonstrating how their close analysis can enhance and enrich interdisciplinary research. This accessible book provides readers with the tools to uncover the hidden stories in garments, setting out a carefully developed research methodology specific to dress, and providing easy-to-use checklists that guide the reader through the process.
Beautifully illustrated, the book contains seven case studies of fashionable Western garments - ranging from an 1820s coat to a 2004 Kenzo jacket - that articulate the methodological framework for the process, illustrate the use of the checklists, and show how evidence from the garment itself can be used to corroborate theories of dress or fashion.
This book outlines a skillset that has, until now, typically been passed on informally. Written in plain language, it will give any budding fashion historian, curator, or researcher the knowledge and confidence to analyze the material in front of them effectively.