From the primitive clothes of prehistoric times to the whimsical fashions of today, the history of costume is a vast and popular subject. Why did people of a certain period dress in a particular way? How did contemporary fashion reflect the current social scene? Why did it vary from country to country? These and countless other questions are answered in this comprehensive survey. A fascinating text explores an endless succession of styles and fashions, materials and accessories, while nearly 1,200 illustrations drawn from every conceivable source - engravings, paintings, manuscript illuminations, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and photographs - provide a vivid, almost cinematic accompaniment to the text.