Great Reads, Gorgeous Looks: My Favourite Dress

Anyone who knows me even vaguely probably knows that I'm an absolute nut for a good read, and even more so when the reading material in question concerns clothes. Which is why, when the blog email inbox was found to contain an offer from Michelle at glassloves to review My Favourite Dress by Gity Monsef, Samantha Erin Shafer and Robert de Niet, it didn't take me longer than a preliminary flick over the text and a few images to say yes, please, I'd love to.
Hamish Bowles, Chanel Printemps – Été 1926
Diane Pernet, Haider Ackermann Autumn-Winter 2009-10
Margaret Howell, Spring-Summer 1982
The concept is a pretty simple one: the authors ask a wide range of people (male and female) involved in the fashion industry(predominantly, the British fashion industry) just what their favourite dress is, and why it is so. A picture or illustration of the garment in question, the date when it was created/acquired, and the material used to make it, accompanies each interviewee's contribution.
Giles, "Carwash" dress, Spring-Summer 2009
Peter Jensen, Spring-Summer 2009
Joe Casely-Hayford, Spring-Summer 1987
The names involved are some of fashion's greatest and most interesting: a tiny handful of the people whose favourite dresses are featured include Alexander McQueen, Daisy de Villeneuve, Diane Pernet, Louise Goldin, Oriole Cullen (of the Victoria and Albert Museum!), Issey Miyake, Mary Quant, Stephen Jones, Boudicca, Bernhard Wilhelm, Romeo Gigli, Rick Owens, Roland Mouret, Hamish Bowles, Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes. As would be expected, the accompanying photographs (of each person featured, as well as of their dresses) are beautiful, but the real joy lies in two things: the accompanying explanations, which explain the choice and meaning of the dress, and the sheer width of the range of dresses chosen. Not only do they span different styles, from Peter Jensen's almost t-shirt+skirtlike SS2009 pick to the ethereal floatiness of John Galliano's 1996 couture piece and the cagey beauty of Romeo Gigli's choice, but also a long, very long period in time- from the 1920s (Hamish Bowles's winkled-out truffle of an unlabelled Chanel dress from 1926!) to this very season (Haider Ackermann, included courtesy of Diane Pernet). It's quite a lot to take in all in one go, which is fine by me because it's nothing short of an absolute treat- and very importantly, not faffy-sounding like the average coffee-table book. I'll be heading back to some happy browsing after this...

Romeo Gigli, Autumn/Winter 1992-93
Boudicca, Autumn-Winter 2003 "Darko" dress.


susie_bubble said...

Looks like a really great read.... love the simplicty of the Margaret Howell dress....

Anonymous said...

I have this book! Its such a wonderful book! Did you like it?
-Alicia D'mon

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Susie: it was a pretty fantastic read, really. And the Margaret Howell dress was apparently based on gymslips...what an inspiration to have.
Alicia: I loved it! Had a great time gasping over some of the pictures, too :)

health wellness said...

Oh God the first photograph of the red dress left me like crazy! I'm a lover of high couture and that dress is just wonderful, except that my favorite color is red, really love that dress!

fast pitch bat said...

How nice dress "Darko" is to use it in a romantic dinner with the boyfriend, I hope this weekend my boyfriend asked me out! I will try to find a dress that looks like that!

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