University of Hertfordshire

Volume 8: West Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

  • J. Styles
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s57-s62
JournalFashion Theory
Journal publication date1 Mar 2012
IssueSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


Of the ten volumes that comprise the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, it is Volume 8: West Europe that poses the biggest challenge in terms of selection, organization, and interpretation. The challenge arises from the overwhelming abundance of available material. After all, Western Europe has been central to the definition and practice of fashion as we conventionally understand it, from fashion’s European origins, conventionally located somewhere in the later Middle Ages, until at least the mid-twentieth century. The region has attracted vastly more scholarly work on fashion than any other part of the world. The Berg Encyclopedia prides itself on its global coverage, achieved by means of nine geographically defined volumes covering different continents or parts of continents. Only one of these volumes deals with Western Europe, so that volume has to do justice to European primacy, while avoiding the more egregious forms of Eurocentrism all too common in previous work on the subject.

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