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Auguste Racinet. The Costume History

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Racinet’s Costume History is a landmark in the study of clothing and style. From Eskimo attire to high French couture, this unrivalled encyclopedia is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians, and anyone interested in style.
Hardcover5.5 x 7.7 in.2.48 lb752 pages
“…an accessible, elaborate visual history of all the weird, uncomfortable clothes people thought looked good, from massive, powdered wigs to feathered war helmets. Contemporary artists, designers, illustrators, and historians will find no shortage of inspiration in its pages.”
“Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.”
Auguste Racinet. The Costume History

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History


From Togas to Top Hats

The evolution of style from antiquity to 1888

Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume Historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted. Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail.

This TASCHEN reprint presents Racinet’s exquisitely precise color illustrations, as well as his delightful descriptions and often witty commentary. Spanning everything from ancient Etruscan attire to French women’s couture, material is arranged according to Racinet’s original plan by culture and subject. As expansive in its reach as it is passionate in its research and attention to detail, Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style.
The author

Françoise Tétart-Vittu studied art history at the Sorbonne and specialized in the costume history of the 18th and 19th centuries. For many years she was head of the graphic arts department and curator at the Musée Galliera, Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris. She authored many books on costume history.

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History
Hardcover14 x 19.5 cm1.13 kg752 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-5540-1

Edition: English

ISBN 978-3-8365-5955-3

Edition: French
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12 Ratings

Beautiful illustrations with original text

Rosie,November 7, 2021
This history book of world fashion, dress and costumes is majestic. Racinet’s illustrations are beautiful and lifelike. The added value of the original text (though translated) is the spirit of the times of Racinet. European scholars were encountering still alien people with alien garments, which is reflected in Racinet’s comments. Overall a great addition to my Taschen collection which is far from finished!

Great journey

Roberto,October 28, 2021
A great journey down the costume history. It's so amazing to go through the books and see how fashion changed and how it represented the society.

Compact, yet thorough

Ryan L.,October 27, 2021
A great visual resource for period costume pieces from 1825 to 1893. While there isn’t a plethora of detail in the writing as the majority of the book is illustration, the actual size of the book should appeal to any student of theater or fashion in need of something they could literally carry with them or simply leave out as a casual piece for a small side table In lieu of a large coffee table book. The contents also include detailed illustrations Roman hairstyles, the drapery & accessories.


Jeremy,October 27, 2021
Intéressant et parfaitement documenté.

Love it

Louis H.,October 27, 2021
I bought this book for à friand and she really love making costume. This book was perfect for her.