College & Research Libraries News

INTERNET RESOURCES: Fashion and costume

by Monica Fusich

About the author

Monica Fusich is reference librarian at California State University, Fresno, e-mail:

Awealth of information on fashion and cos- tume resources exists on the Internet. Both the contemporary nature of fashion as well as the historical aspect of costume are extremely well served by the visual and hypertext medium of the Internet.

The fashion industry and fashion devotees have created sites that provide access to runway shows, designers, models, trade information, and current events. Costume historians have designed sites that can be used to research costumes, locate visuals, and document the creation of accurate historical garments.

Richard Martin, curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, notes in his introduction to Contemporary Fashion‚ “We could not avoid fashion today if we tried: fashion constitutes the pervasive and persuasive culture of our time.”1

The culture of fashion, costume, and the Internet has successfully converged to offer unique, innovative, and informative Web sites. Individuals first used the Internet as a vehicle for disseminating opinions and images on fashion and costume and created personal homepages on topics such as punk style, makeup, and designers.

The fashion industry and professional organizations then saw the value of the Internet as an advertising and informational medium and began to develop commercial sites. Currently, serious researchers and those interested in cutting-edge fashion trends will be able to locate information on the Internet.

This selected list of Internet sites covers many aspects of fashion and costume his- tory that will be of interest to both the seri- ous scholar and those interested in fashion for fun.


Meta Sites

• Angel of Fashion.An evaluative di- rectory of fashion sites that are awarded the “angel of fashion” for in- novation and creativity. The site links to alterna- tive fashion sites, e- zines, designers, model- ing, and much more. Starting at this site gives an excellent overview of the richness of fashion information available. Created by Rodney Dunetz. Access: http:// www. html.

• excellent and comprehensive index of international fashion sites. This site links to sites of interest to fashion retailers, manufacturers, shoppers, and those just interested in fashion. Provides a search engine of fashion sites. Access: http:// fwsetup.exe.

• FashionNet.This site sponsors live chat and bulletin boards as well as job listings, a fashion-specific search engine, and links to related beauty and modeling sites. Published by Triple International, an online publisher specializing in fashion. Access: http://www.

• World Fashion Sites.This site links to designers, magazines, fashion schools, collections, textiles, models, and fashion museums. Produced by the Samsung Fashion Institute. Access: tsites-gnr.html.

• Fashionlndia.Fashionlndia is a comprehensive site including information on designers, boutiques, reviews, models, choreographers, fashion professionals, and other fashion-related information. Includes a glossary and excellent article on the history of fashion in India. Access: http://www.


• FirstVIEW: Collections Online.This is the premiere Internet publication for fashion show photographs from both the haute couture and ready-to-wear collections shown in Paris, New York, Milan, and London. The most current shows are available only by expensive subscription. More reasonable hourly rates are available one month after the collections are made available to regular subscribers. FirstVIEW includes between 60 and 200 photographs of each designer’s show and images of the older shows (1995-98) are free. For example, 90 images of Richard Tyler’s Spring 1998 ready-to-wear collection are available. Until firstView came online, the most comprehensive image collection of runway shows was the quarterly microfiche set, Fashion Update. Includes an e-mail notification service of new collections available for viewing. Access: home.html.

Industry information

• The Online Guide for the Apparel Industry.This comprehensive clearinghouse of links to over 2,000 apparel resources includes information on trade events, organizations, statistics, and news. Access:

• Fashion Beauty Internet Association.An Internet association and virtual forum for fashion and beauty businesses such as retailers, manufacturers, and style-related journalists. Access: index.html.

• Fashion Windows: The Internet’s Database on Fashion Designers, Visual Merchandising, and Mannequins.This site was created by a Dallas-based freelance visual merchandiser and is divided into four main areas: mannequins, visual merchandis- ing, windows, and fashion designers. Each section has a selection of articles on various topics such as selecting a mannequin or po- sitioning a mannequin. Of special interest is the windows section, which include examples of successful window displays. This site also includes a discussion forum and newsletter that can be subscribed to via e-mail. Access: default.asp.

• TIMS: The Textile Industry’s Busi- ness Center.Provides access, on a mem- bership basis, to textile and apparel industry companies. Services include company and product searches, a client show- case, classified ads, employment listings, trade shows listings, and links to further resources. Provided by Unicate Inc., a company working with the textile, apparel, and fashion industries. Access:

• Virtual Garment Center.The mission of this site is “to provide a virtual community dedicated to servicing the apparel industry by providing information and interactivity.” This site has two sections: markets where companies can list garments or textiles needed and a searchable database of companies such as manufacturers, jobbers, supplies, or retailers. Access: http://www.

• Pret a Porter.This site provides information on an international trade show for retail buyers and sellers of ready-to-wear and accessories. This site is divided into 15 “sectors” representing the different areas of retail such as professional or sportswear. Buyers can use this site in preparation for travelling to Paris for the live event. Access: http://

• Fashionweb.This site focuses on fashion in the United Kingdom and provides chatrooms, job listings, showrooms, and links to additional resources. An interesting aspect of the showroom section is Fashion-I, a timed slide show of current fashion trends. Access:


Yahoo has an excellent list of links to designer homepages. Access: com/Arts/Design_Arts/Fashion/Designers/. Many of the e-zines discussed in a later section will also provide links to designer information.

7th On Sixth. This hybrid site provides access to cutting-edge men and women’s designers such as Girlsrule, Hang Feng, Patrick Robinson, Vera Wang, and Xuly Bet. A brief biography is provided for each designer as well as a link to a homepage, if available. A calendar of both physical and virtual fashion shows is provided. The digital photographs are by Imagelnfo and the Internet shows are Webcast by the Globix Streaming Media Group and require video software to be accessed. Access: html/home.html.


Yahoo offers a partial list of programs offering degrees in fashion design. Access: http:// Education/Schools/. Some noted schools follow.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). For over 50 years FIT has offered degrees for those interested in careers in the apparel industry. In addition, FIT currently offers AA and BA degrees in textile and surface design, restoration, fashion merchandising management, and much more. Access:

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. This California private college offers degrees in fashion design, fashion merchandise marketing, textile design, cosmetics and fragrance merchandising, and apparel manufacturing management. Access: http://

Parsons School of Design. This famous school of design also offers a degree in fashion design. Parson graduates include such designers as Donna Karan, Louis Dell’Olio, and James Mischka. Access: http:// www.

London College of Fashion. Offers degree programs in fashion promotion and management and fashion design and technology. Access: mainmenu.htm.


Yahoo has an excellent index of links to fashion magazines. Access: Arts/Design_Arts/Fashion/News_and_Media/ Magazines/. In addition to print magazines with a Web supplement, the fashion industry has excelled in producing innovative, high-quality, and contemporary e-zines. A sample list of titles follows.

Fashion Click: The Online Fashion and Style Magazine. Covers fashion and collections as well as standard fashion magazine fare. In addition to the current issue, maintains highlights of past issues. Access:

Fashion Planet. This online magazine includes daily updated news items relating to the fashion industry. Each issue includes feature articles and columns on such topics as accessories, beauty, travel, and the arts. An interesting feature is “Windows on New York,” which is a map of 5Ih, Madison, and 57th Street, with images of and links to the various stores located in this area. Access:

Fashion Icon. One of the first fashion e-zines, created by Mila Radulovic, a fashion and beauty consultant. It offers analysis and opinion about current fashion trends. Access:

Fashion Navigator. Includes articles on beauty, collections, films, culture, and music in English and German. Access: http:/ /

The Look Online. Sponsored by Smashbox Cosmetics, provides fashion industry information for visitors and subscribers. Access:

Lumiere. Begun in 1995, Lumiere provides in-depth and up-to-the-minute information on fashion, beauty, and contempo- rary culture. Lumiere provides a free, daily e-mail notification service of the most cur- rent fashion news. Access: http://www.

Fashion Live. Produced by World Me- dia, provides access to fashion trends in Paris, Milan, and London in both English and French. Includes catwalk coverage, a designer database, and an e-mail updat- ing service. Access: http://www.worldmedia. fr/fashion/.

Hypermode. A product of Spiral Me- dia Inc., includes articles on current trends in fashion and a message board. Access http://

Newsgroups, mail lists, chatrooms (Access: and Vivian Neou ’s List of Lists (Access: vivian/interest-group-search.html) provide information on several fashion discussion groups. The following lists would be useful to those interested in fashion: Provides discussion of gothic fashions and styles. Provides discussion of anything to do with fashion and makeup.

fashionbiz. Provides discussion of the fashion industry.

COSTUME Meta sites

The following sites are all labors of love, created by individuals with a strong interest in costume history. This comprehensive and excellent site provides access to textual information, historical images from classic costume texts, and includes a timeline of costume history. Chronological links to related costume sites are provided as well as links to costume museums, military costumes, masks and makeup, fabric dyeing, and much more. Especially useful is the Costume Manifesto, a how-to-manual for costume designers, written by the creator of the Web site. Access to a newsletter and discussion forum is also provided. Created by Tara Maginnis, costume designer for Theatre UAF, the Theatre Department of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Access: http://

The Costume Page: Costuming Resources Online. This well-developed site, created by Julie Zetterberg, indexes over 2,000 costume and costume-related links such as museums and exhibits, costume history, ethnic and folk costume, theatrical costume, making and wearing costumes, and related sites. Access: nebula5/costume.html.

The Costume Site. An excellent site, created by Lauren Podolak, an amateur costumer, provides access to costume, ethnic, and theatrical images, museums and history, organizations, and links to miscellaneous sites such as those covering corsets and underpinnings. This site is especially strong in its access to ethnic costume. Access: http://

The Costume Gallery. Provides over 400 links to costume designers, goods and services, costume history, and recreational sites such as an online costume ball and online costume postcards. Created by Penny E. Dunlap Ladnier. Access: http://www.

The Costume Page. Produced by the University of British Columbia Library, this site links to a small list of costume-related libraries, mail lists, Usenet groups, and exhibitions. Access: finearts/COSTUME.html.


Most of the sites mentioned above link to images and textual information. The following sites focus on vi- sual information.

The Regency Fashion Page. This site, created by Cathy Decker, links to three pages: the Real Regency Clothing Page, Regency Fashion Plates, and the Men’s Page, which show costume images from fashion journals and plates and photographs of actual regency garments. Access: http:// html.

The History of Costume. C. Otis Sweezey reproduces the plates in the “History of Costume” or “Zur Geschichte der Kostume,” which was printed from 1871 to 1880 in Munich. These plates reproduce 500 costume designs from antiquity to the end of the 19th century. Access, COSTUMES/history.html.

Godey’s Lady’s Book. There are several sites that are in the process of providing access to this 19th-century periodical. This important journal included fashion plates as well as poems, fiction, and advice articles. Two locations for this journal are the University of Vermont (Access: ~hag/godey/index.html) and the University of Rochester (Access: http://www.history. rochester. edu/godeys/).

Associations and organizations

Costume Society of America. Offers information on membership, symposia, exhibitions, and scholarships and awards. Access: http://www.costumesocietyamerica. com/.

The Costume Society (Great Britain). Access: CostumeSociety/.

International Costumer’s Guild. Provides information on this worldwide organization of costume professionals and amateurs. Access:

Newsgroups, mail lists, chatrooms Focuses on the design, motivation, and execution of fantasy clothing and costume. Subscribe: f-costume-request@lunch.asd.sgi. com.

H-Costume. Focuses on how to accurately recreate historical costumes. Subscribe:

Vintage. Vintage clothing discussion list. Subscribe:


  1. Richard Martin. Contemporary Fashion (New York: St. James Press, 1995): vii. ■ (“Web forms” continued from page 272)

Forms can be used in other ways to enhance library services in general. For example, libraries can provide access to commonly used library forms, such as interlibrary loan requests, requests to put library materials on reserve, or requests for extended reference assistance.

As technology becomes more sophisticated, libraries must use creative and proactive methods to maintain viability. A reference Web form is one way libraries can expand their educational and service roles and stay at the forefront of a changing world.

Sources for building a Web form

• Beverly K. Duval. “Tables and feedback forms in Web pages.” Library Software Review 15 (1996): 31-37. Part of the “Microcomputer Applications in the Library” column looks at the design and HTML coding for tables and feedback forms.

• J. Honeycutt, and Mark R. Brown. Using HTML 3.2. 3rd ed. Indianapolis: Que, Inc., 1997. This comprehensive reference book for HTML 3.2 Web page creation includes chapters on creating online forms.

• Access: http:// forms.html. This page gives links to some excellent sites for creating forms on the Web. ■

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