Above: An evening gown known as “Le Gaz,” (The Gas Flame) from the 1950 "Frigidaire Formals" collection by French designer Gaston Darchez. Each dress was inspired by a household appliance. In this case, a gas stove. Portfolio drawing. Gouache. 1950.


Mixing fictional designers, made-up muses, and totally imaginary trendsetters with real people and places, Forgotten Fashion traces the birth, life, and death of faux trends from across the Twentieth Century with intelligent humor.

From the Body Muff (1905) to the Fidelity Cardigan (1943) to Emotionally Distressed Jeans (1998), each faux fashion is sewn with wit and brought to life in fabulous full-color illustrations.

Sadly, each of the faux trends in this volume met an untimely if not tragic demise. They were the victims of a variety of misfortunes including bad weather, long wars, short tempers, wild animals, poorly formulated fabric blends, and even their creators, who include several Paris-trained couturiers, a Milanese tailor, a bourgeois Swiss teenager, and a man known only as “Hugo.”

Perusing these tales is like shopping along a crooked street of dark yet delightful stores; in each one you will discover a collection of surprises.