This engaging and informative guide lays out the significant design trends and movements that have shaped costume and fashion from the ancients through today. The latest in the best-selling Isms series, which includes Isms: Understanding Art, Isms: Understanding Architectural Styles and Isms: Understanding Religion, is Isms: Understanding Fashion. Concisely written, this book packs loads of detail into a handy small format, tracing the evolution of costume history and fashion through a series of interconnected trends and movements (a.k.a. "isms") from the Greco-Roman toga and the antebellum hoop skirt to the latest from the runway. This guide is organized chronologically and covers the evolution of costume, the beginning of haute couture, and the rise of fashion as we know it— documented throughout with a combination of line drawings, costume illustration, and fashion photography. It includes an overview of designers from the classic—Coco Chanel, Dior—to the contemporary design greats, such as Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. While the book traces the influences and links between designers, it also includes patrons, from Marie-Antoinette to Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana, as well as fashion muses from Sarah Bernhardt to Sarah Jessica Parker. Related topics such as accessories and accoutrements are included as well. Anyone interested in costume and fashion will delight in this book.