Now available from Abrams, this popular book offers a rare, close-up look at the exquisite, labor-intensive details seen in fine historical clothing. Perfect decorative seams, minute stitching, knife-sharp pleats, and voluptuous drapery--all are here, alongside more unusual techniques such as stamping, pinking, and slashing. Most of these effects cannot be replicated by machine, yet many of today's fashion designers take their inspiration from the past, adapting these details to a more contemporary idiom, and to the realities of modern manufacturing. Drawing from the Victoria and Albert Museum's world-famous collections, the book contains a gallery of exquisite photographs, accompanied by clear line drawings showing the construction of the complete garment and a text that sets each in the context of its time. This book will appeal to anyone interested in fashion, historical costume, or textile history, from cut and construction to fabric and trimmings.