Back in the days before the camera was king, fashion trends were portrayed to the masses through artfully illustrated drawings. Somebody has collected a series of these beautiful sketches, documenting the changes in western women’s fashion all the way from 1784 to 1970, when the artform finally became obsolete.

The history timeline presents the trendy clothes from each and every year, reflecting the social-economic conditions of what was sure to be the higher classes of society. Beginning with elaborate, puffy dresses with a hoop in the bottom to completely hide the legs, we slowly make our way through the 19th century where things had slimmed down considerably, before billowing out again, even bigger than before. The hat was a staple of vintage fashion all the way up to the 1950s, where it gave way to shorter skirts and finally, pants.

While the art of fashion illustration has fallen out of the mainstream, there are some dedicated specialists that keep it alive. Scroll down to see the illustrated vintage dresses for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!

(h/t: My Modern Met)