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ANCIENT AFRICA: Primarily Egypt but any artifact related to adornment from Africa prior to 1600


ANCIENT EUROPE: In this time period few pieces of cloth survive but their art tells the story.


MEDIEVAL: 5th-14th century. Most of what has survived comes from jewelry, armor and clothing items such as buckles and pins but the art of the day also tells us what clothing looked like.


RENAISSANCE: 14th-17th centuries. primarily European. Elaborate textiles, armor, jewelry and fashion for those with wealth. The explosion of art in this era gives an amazing picture of how people wished to be remembered.


1700-1790 The grand wealth of the upper classes provides incredible (if not very practical) fashion but the middle class is also growing and they too manage some pretty fancy clothes.


1790-1835 In England this was known as the Regency Era. Dresses were high waisted and less confining. The silhouette is distinctive and made famous by Jane Austin novels.


1835-1890 The simpler, less confining clothes give way to the hoop and crinoline. By the Civil War period women’s dresses were hard to maneuver in and they will begin to rebel by lighter clothing, bloomers and “healthier garments”


1890-1920 This era begins begins with a straighter skirt and the bustle but the modern woman is on her way. She bicycles. She swims. She wears the distinctive styles we have seen on “Downtown Abby”


1920s: The Flapper arrives!. Hair gets bobbed. Hemlines rise. Fringe, beads, Art Deco and radical change in how women view themselves and their freedom. Automobiles give us new entertainments which need “date clothes” for both men and women


1930s: At a time when the nation was suffering, fashion was a great distraction. People went to the movies where they saw the long, lean elegant lines this era produced and they went home and sewed them themselves.


1940s: The men were in uniform, the women were taking on new responsibilities and it shows in the strong powerful fashion looks of the 40s. Women everywhere copied the looks of actresses like Betty Davis & Katherine Hepburn.


1950s: The war is over. The men are home. The baby boom is on Strong was for the 40s. Fashionable homemakers are for the 50s.


1960s: The world is full of optimism and bright colors. The start of the sixties is ruled by movies and designers; the last half takes its cues from the music and counter-culture of the day.


1970s: The seventies begin with bohemian/hippy fashion and bellbottoms but punk and disco are on their way and before the era is over all those influences have taken hold in young people’s adornment. The Gap is born.


1980s: A shift in the culture towards big business and big money and big everything including shoulders and hair. MTV video fashion, aerobics, Michael Jackson, Preppy, Stadium Hair Bands. What did they have in common? They were all Big.


1990s: Fashion shifts again. Boy bands and frosted tips, flared jeans, flannel, vests and bib overalls. Think grunge, D.J. Tanner and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The influence of rap means baggier pants and lower waistlines.


2000-2010: Rapper clothing increases in menswear. Women’s clothing becomes tighter and shorter. Scarves make a comeback. Urbanwear is big and brand names can sell like never before. Companies like American Apparel rule.


2010-CURRENT: Current fashion magazine and blogs are pinned to help you find fashion topics that are contemporary.

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