Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed - the exhibition catalogue from The Metropolitan Museum of Art available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed

Regular price £24.95

'This well-produced, heavily illustrated volume makes costume history accessible and, indeed, entertaining.' - The Sunday Times

'…shows, beautifully, why designing dresses is not child's play, but often as mature an art as painting or sculpting.' - Financial Times

Accompanying a 2001 Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition, this beautiful and thought-provoking book presents many of the extraordinary and diverse transformations that the body has endured in fashion over time and across cultures. Physical areas of the body have been constricted, padded, truncated, or extended to achieve fashion's goal. 

The book's author, Harold Koda, has organized this book into five chapters. In each, he examines a particular zone of the body in detail—the neck and shoulders, the chest, the waist, the hips, and the feet. The book explores transformations from across centuries and across the globe including the neck-extending chokers of the Maasai,  sixteenth-century iron corsets and the bound feet and caged nails of aristocratic Manchu women, and the stiletto heels of the 1950s. Photographs of fashion are augmented by paintings, prints, and drawings, including caricatures by Gilray, Cruikshank, Daumier, and Vernet.

The catalogue was awarded Book of the Year Award (ForeWord) in Art (2001).

  • Author: Andrew Bolton
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Date published:  June 2004
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0300103120
  • Product Dimensions: 29.8 x 23.5 x 1.3cm