Seems to be a bit of a Biba book war going on right now. We recently flagged up The Biba Years 1963 – 1975 by Barbara Hulanicki and Martin Pel, which now looks like being joined on the style shelves by Welcome to Big Biba: Inside the Most Beautiful Store in the World.
Not that they cover the same ground. The first tells the story of the retailer, while this ones looks specifically at a store described as being 'like no other, before or since' and remains a talking point despite lasting just two years.
Less than a decade after the label was founded, Big Biba appeared in 1970s London, a seven-storey department store filled with own-brand products throughout. So the clothes and shoes, but also cosmetics, soft furnishings…even washing powder to wash the clothes and food to feed the mid-1970s hipster. All of which came with the bold Biba packaging.
But more than a shop, it was also a trendy hangout, either in the shop window space or in the Roof Garden for cocktails or the Rainbow Room to catch a suitably stylish live act.
All of that is captured in this 96-page book by ACC Editions, containing 150 colour images, all of which are 'styled' by the designer of Big Biba Steven Thomas, with words by the author of The Biba Experience Alwyn W Turner. You can't go back in time, but you can get an insight into just what the store really was like by flicking the pages of this book.
It retails for £17.86 as a hardback and is available to pre-order now, with the book shipping on 18th September 2014.