History of Fashion Web Sites


Andre Studios, 1930-1941: Fashion Drawings & Sketches

"This digitized collection of thousands of fashion drawings and sketches produced by André Fashion Studios between 1930 and 1941 is the result of a partnership between the Picture Collection of The New York Public Library and the Special Collections & FIT Archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology Library... The collection consists of original, hand-colored and reproduced fashion drawings from André Studios, one of a small number of competing design studios that created fashion sketches to sell to clothing manufacturers in the United States and Canada on a weekly basis. Pearl Levy Alexander and Leonard Schwartzbach were partners in André, with Pearl creating the designs and Leonard acting as the salesman. André specialized in children’s coats, and ladies coats and suits, and produced about 20 sketches a week for most of the year, beginning in 1930 and ending in the early 1970s. The site showcases the first decade of the firm’s output, up until the beginning of World War II, an oeuvre of significant proportions providing unique insight into fashion trends for women and children during the 1930s." (from web site)

The Costume Gallery

The Costume Gallery is dedicated to online articles and resources. Contains over 2,900 webpages of period fashion articles, catalogs, books and images to access.  The site is no longer free so for full access to the info, you need to pay.

 The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Costume Institute of the Met has a collection of more than thirty thousand costumes and accessories spanning five continents and covering several centuries. Their website provides a database for searching more than 7,000 images from their costume collection as well as from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection. You can search their database for "18th century dress" or just try searching "costume" to browse their photos.  Look at the rest of the Metropolitan's web site. There is a wealth of information!

The Costume Page

The Costume Page is a site with links to hundreds of other web pages on costumes.  You will have to decide how reliable the information is on each site.  This site does have a lot of links to historical costumes, making costumes, costumes for live performances and much more. 

 The Costumer's Manifesto

The Costumer's Manifesto is created and maintained by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is the costume designer and a Professor of the UAF theatre department. The site provides links to a wide range of costume related resources.

 La Couturière Parisienne

La Couturière Parisienne offers the user links to web pages covering the Medieval and Renaissance period to the early 1900s. The site links to artwork and fashion plates that provide visuals for the costumes of particular periods. Users will also find patterns, articles and photographs.

 Elizabethan Costuming Page

The Elizabethan Costuming Page by Drea Leed lists links to Elizabethan/Renaissance web sites by categories such as Colors & Fabrics, Hats & Headwear and Costume Construction.

 Fashion History Costume Trends and Era

This site contains illustrated pages covering Fashion History, Costume History, Clothing, Fashions and Social History.

Fashion Museum

The Fashion Museum in Bath, England has a collection covering historical and contemporary fashion.  The Fashion Museum link will take you to the page for searching their historical collection.

 Fashion Past and Present

This page provides links to other web sites with information about fashion, textiles, armor, cosmetics, jewelry and more.

 Fashion Plate

University of Washington Libraries Digital Collection includes 417 fashion plates from 1806-1914 from some of the leading fashion journals of the times.

 The History of Costume by Braun & Schneider

The website has text and illustrations from Braun and Schneider's 19th century book, The History of Costume. This book published from 1861 to 1880 has plates covering ancient costumes to the 19th century. However, keep in mind that the illustrations have a Victorian perspective to the costume designs so they may not be authentic.  They may also reflect the misconceptions of the late 1800s.

KCI: The Kyoto Costume Institute

The Kyoto Costume Institute collects and preserves examples of western clothing. The site has a Japanese and English version which gives you access to their digital archives with images in chronological order.  The images allow users to zoom in to see details in the fabrics. The site has examples of clothing from the mid-1700s to the 1990s.

LACMA Costume and Textiles Online Collection

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art includes an Image Library on their website under the category, Costume and Textiles. Search for costume to locate more than 200 images of apparel and accessories from around the world.

 Manchester Art Gallery

The Manchester Art Gallery has an easy to use Gallery of Costume that covers primarily the 19th and 20th centuries, but also provides some photographs of costumes from the 18th century.

Ohio State University Historic Costume & Textiles Collection : Exhibitions

OSU's Historic Costume & Textiles Collection is a scholarly and artistic resource for information and images on apparel and textiles. The exhibitions page has numerous images from their past exhibitions. 

UNT Texas Fashion Collection

The University of North Texas Fashion Collection preserves and documents historically significant fashion. There are digitized photographs of items from their collection that can be browsed by time period and searched by keywords.  According to their site, they will be continually adding to their online digitized collection.

 Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum has a Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories section on their web site that offers an array of clear photographs of costumes from the 18th to the present day. Search carefully to discover all the hidden layers in this site.


*Also try ipl2 at http://ipl.org/ .  Web sites are selected, organized and described by students and volunteer library and information science professionals .  Search for "costume",  "fashion history" or any other keywords you think are appropriate.  Remember this web site when you need to research other topics on the Internet! *