Costume and Fashion A Concise History

James Laver, Amy de la Haye, Andrew Tucker

An authoritative account of the history of fashion and costume from prehistoric times to today.

From the momentous invention of the needle some 40,000 years ago to the development of blue denim, from Neolithic weavers to the biggest names in the fashion industry today, this classic guide covers the landmarks of costume history. Costume and Fashion explores the forms and materials used in fashion through the ages, the underlying motives of fashion, and the ways in which clothes have been used to protect, express identity, and attract or influence others.

This updated sixth edition features a new foreword and concluding chapter by Amy de la Haye and a new discussion about the major political shifts within the fashion industry, highlighting how it has responded to issues surrounding racism and sexism, LGBTQIA rights, mental health awareness, body and age diversity, and global sustainability. Generously illustrated with paintings, drawings, and photographs, and with a new angle on the emergence of ethical fashion, Costume and Fashion feels more current than ever.


James Laver


James Laver (1899-1975) was a noted authority on the history of costume and fashion, and keeper of the department of prints, drawings, and paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from 1938 to 1959.

Amy de la Haye


Amy de la Haye is an expert dress historian. She is the Rootstein Hopkins chair of dress history & curatorship at London College of Fashion.

Andrew Tucker


Andrew Tucker is a fashion writer, and author of The London Fashion Book; Dries Van Noten: Shape, Print, and Fabric; and Fashion: A Crash Course.