Every generation can recall and identify with the fashion icons and idols of their era. The crinoline-caged Victorian female, the Gibson girl, and the grunge-layered youth of the 1990s all reflect the influences and extremes of their life and times. The start of the 19th century marks the dawn of the designer, a sartorial influence that became a star-studded industry. "Fashion: A Visual History" charts those points in time when distinctive styles that began as extravagances of the very rich permeated through well-dressed society until a cut of cloth or choice of accessory defined fashion. This elegantl- dressed volume asseses the contribution of such innovative players as Worth, Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Klein, Westwood, and Gaultier, as well as the effects of stage, sceren, music, dance, and sports celebriries on our ever-changing sense of fashion. Each spread focuses on a definitive item--be it bowler hat or little black dress, stiletto or caftan--or identifies key shifts in fashion that reflect excess, liberation, austerity, nostalgia, and technology, displaying it in contemporary images ranging from paintings and illustrated fashion plates to cartoons and photographs. Evocative primary quotes complete a history that visually traces the revealing evolution of fashion in Western society.