History in Review
1920's Fashions from B. Altman & Company
(Dover Publications, Mineola, New York: 1999. Pg. 123. Black & White Illustrations.) ISBN: 978-0-486-40293-2.
Reviewed by Auggie Moore - May 8, 2009
1920's Fashions from B. Altman & Company is a republication of select pages from the Altman Magazine, 1921-1929 editions. B. Altman & Company was a department store based in New York City that was founded in 1865. The Altman Magazine served as the company's fashion catalog, and was published twice a year. As such, the pages reprinted in this book have the look and feel of catalog pages. In all, there are more than 700 black and white illustrations included in this book, and they depict a range of fashion products that were being offered for sale by B. Altman & Company during this period. In addition to the illustrations, brief descriptions and prices are also included.
Products listed included both summer and winter fashions, as well as both women's and children's clothing. Mens fashions are not covered in this book. Items covered included women's hats, dresses, undergarments, beachwear, shoes, and coats, as well as common accessories such as purses, gloves, and stockings. Items included in the realm of children's clothing are items for babies, toddler, junior, and teen fashions for both boys and girls. Throughout, both casual and formal costumes are depicted, as well as well known items such as flapper dresses and rare items, such as boudoir garments, riding habits, swimsuits, brassieres, gymnasium apparel, and toy's for babies are also depicted.
1920's Fashions from B. Altman & Company is an essential reference book for historians, designers, writers, costumers, or for anyone with an interest in 1920's fashions. The period spring/summer or winter/fall in which each given page was originally published is noted at the top of each page, as well as the publication year. The pages are organized chronologically, allowing you to easy witness how fashions, including skirt lengths, changed throughout the period. As well, the inclusion of prices and product descriptions, makes this a fascinating book to read for anyone with an interest in American period clothing and fashion trends.
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