'Fashion: A history from the 18th to 20th century' by the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI).
This is a hefty 736 page bible of glorious images and succinct accompanying text. Every savvy person should own a copy, indeed when I stumbled across it at Readings a few years ago I immediately bought one for my mother-in-law aswell.
'This text shows how our ancestors dressed, considers the amazing accomplishments of contemporary fashion and shows how our descendants may dress in the distant future as clothing design evolves.'
Photos are both full length and close-up, garments are displayed on mannequins with all the relevant accoutrements, and the depth of the collection is truly amazing. The KCI are renowned for their collection of Western garments, if ever you go to Japan put this place on your itinerary!
Among my favourite images are these men's suits: coat, waistcoat and breeches of green velvet, heavily embroidered from the 1790s,
this skating outfit from the 1890s, love the jaunty ribbons!
Gorgeous Madeleine Vionnet jersey evening dress from 1933,
and finally, a smart Pierre Cardin wool tweed suit from 1966.
This book was about $80 a few years ago, and now I have seen it on Amazon for $100 US, it's a pricey tome but well worth it.
Listening to: Cibo Matto - King of Silence