I don’t actually own this brilliant book. But if you count all the months I’ve borrowed it from library during the last 20+ years, you could say the book has been in my possession for over a year. It’s a Swedish book and called Tidens tecken (Sign of the times). So why is it so brilliant you may ask? Well, firstly it contains an exquisite collection of garments from 1895-1986. Secondly it puts the garments in a visual context by showing similar themes in art, architecture, design and so forth. And thirdly the writer talks about how movements in the society has shaped the fashion. I’ve read nearly 100 books on fashion history, and looking back this is the one that stands above everyone else, because it excels both in visuals and written content.
I first read this book as a fashion hungry teenager and it made a very strong impact on me. I really wanted to own a copy. But the price was steep for my modest means, and when I finally could afford it with ease, it was out of print. The writer Tonie Lewenhaupt and her photographer husband Claës has done several books on fashion, all good, but this is by far the best.
Edit: Available in English too on Amazon! Crosscurrents: Art, fashion, design