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100 Unforgettable Dresses Hardcover – October 25, 2011


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100 Unforgettable Dresses + Fifty Dresses That Changed the World (Design Museum Fifty)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061151661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061151668
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book is a gallery of…dressmaking magic. I feel as though I am looking at a very special family album, one that revels in the joy, happiness, and desire we inspire in others when we triumph in creating moments of memorable beauty.” (Alber Elbaz)

From the Back Cover

100 Unforgettable Dresses is filled with the stories, secrets, intrigue, and insights behind the most indelible dresses in our collective memories. Featuring looks from the runway, film, television, the red carpet, and the worlds of royalty and politics, this book celebrates the staying power of these gorgeous, sleek, sultry, and outrageous creations as well as the lasting impact they’ve had in fashion, popular culture, and our own lives. More than two hundred images, a witty, informative text, and exclusive interviews with the designers and the women who wore the dresses reveal the initial spark and captivating drama behind the making of each dress. Also featured throughout are extensive anecdotes and observations about great style makers—Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Cher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Cate Blanchett—highlighting the conception of their most spectacular looks and examining their lasting influence.

Here is the tale of how a canny Gianni Versace helped an unknown Elizabeth Hurley become world famous overnight, thanks to the paparazzi frenzy whipped up by her red-carpet appearance in his now legendary safety-pin dress. Learn about the unique wedding gown Narciso Rodriguez designed exclusively for Caroline Bessette-Kennedy that inspired a whole new generation of brides. Go on the set of Top Hat, where Ginger Rogers’s ostrich-feather-laden dress began to molt immediately upon arrival, its flying feathers bringing the film’s production to a halt. Of course, the seminal work of exemplary designers—Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress and Christian Lacroix’s pouf, Chanel’s little black dress and Valentino’s infamous red ones, Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap and Marc Jacobs’s grunge collection—is featured throughout, with plenty of inside information on what inspired the invention of each piece.

With its wonderful anecdotes, fascinating facts, and just enough juicy gossip, 100 Unforgettable Dresses is a bewitching read for everyone who enjoys sensational clothes, movies, television, and music. Whether you’re a fashion maven, a red-carpet addict, a celebrity tracker, or a pop-culture aficionado, you won’t be able to put this book down!


More About the Author

Hal Rubenstein is the fashion director of InStyle Magazine and one of its founding editors. Formerly men's style editor of The New York Times Magazine, Rubenstein also created and edited the cult classic Egg Magazine. As an editor and columnist covering pop culture, he has had cover stories and interviews published in The New Yorker, Elle, Interview, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Details. In 2011, he was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Eleanor Lambert Founder's Award, which "recognizes individuals who have made unique contributions to the world of fashion and/or deserve the industry's special recognition."

In addition, Rubenstein has been a highly respected and prolific food critic for nearly three decades. His restaurant column most recently appeared in New York magazine and can now be found on HalRubenstein.com, where he also writes on entertaining and social graces. He is a frequent guest on television talk shows like Today, The Early Show,and The View. He regularly lectures at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons Institute, and The Governor's Conference on Women. He is also co-director of Fund in the Sun, a non-profit foundation that raises monies for grass roots organizations doing extraordinary work to better the lives of children as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community; he is on the board of directors of Live Out Loud. Rubenstein is the author of 100 Unforgettables Dresses (Harper Design, 2011) and Paisley Goes With Nothing: A Man's Guide to Style (Doubleday, 1995). A native New Yorker, he has no desire to live anywhere else.

Customer Reviews

If you have an interest in fashion design, you will enjoy this book.
Ramona
It has very colorful and beautiful pictures, as well as very descriptive explanations.
Linda Rasnic
She's had the book for a few months now and she still picks it up frequently.
Puppymom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By walkure on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just purchased this through Amazon. I was initially wary of the title as I've been rather disappointed with most of the fashion-themed books published this year and for the last few years (and I've been buying fashion books for decades including anything with the word "couture" or "Vreeland" or "Yohji" or "Comme" in the title). However, it was a sheer joy to read from page 1 till the end; even the acknowledgements are so well-written. The author is witty, perceptive, sensitive to the ephemeral pleasure and excitement of fashion shows, alert to the technical details or innovations in a dress, fashion conscious (as opposed to some of the new titles written by bloggers or associate professors in design with no fashion passion and no references in the history of fashion) - there is delight in a superbly apt description of the dress and of that very moment when the dress made that impact. If you enjoyed the passion of Martin Gottfried in Broadway Musicals (1986), then you will know what I'm referring to. All through, there are little known delicious tidbits associated with each dress; for example, the seams on Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's Narciso wedding dress (not a favourite dress of mine but that's not the point) and a wonderful little story about the cutting of the dress (which I cannot spoil for the next reader). One doesn't have to agree with all his choices but I was thrilled that he chose Anne Margaret's dress in the opening sequence of Bye Bye Birdie. The description of Carmen Kass walking in the Chanel rtw ostrich feathered dress is gorgeous. I'm probably overreacting (slightly) here but this is not fashion writing, this is prose.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Lola092563 on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't understand why other reviewers have rated this so highly. I was really disappointed with both the quality of the photographs and the summaries. Perfect example. One of the highlighted dresses, is the beautiful and famous red gown Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman when she and "Edward Lewis" (the actor Richard Gere) go to the Opera. Well, the photo is grainy (looks like it was copied and pasted from an internet site) AND the photo only shows half the dress! The pages of this book are 8" X 11" - yet this photo is only half the size of the page and only shows the dress from hips up. There is literally half a page of blank white at the top of the page.

The author's picture and commentary of the late Princess Diana's wedding gown was equally disappointing. Instead of presenting the dress within it's context of time and fashion, he references only designers who hated the dress and blame a decade (the 80's) of over the top wedding dresses. Those were the 80's! And the photo accompanying the gown only gives a side angle, leaving the reader unable to see the massive train and veil, which were spectacular at the time.

Other photos in the book do not provide any ability to view the details of the dress. Stevie Nicks, "Goth Goddess Dress" - it just looks like she's wearing a black dress! If you squint, you can sort of see "something shiny" on the dress - what are they? Beading? Sequins? I don't know, because he doesn't even explain it very well, except to say it was a corset top and chiffon skirt. That's just one example; there are loads in the book.....Madonna in "The Sicilian Dress", Audrey Hepburn in "The Embassy Ball Gown for My Fair Lady" - photos are poor quality & one can't see details of the dress at all.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Erma P. Sanders on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was everything I could hope for as a poor girl from the Midwest who has to get her fashion fix from what other's are wearing. My favorite dress of all time (the canary yelllow vintage dress worn by Renee Zellweger at the Academy Awards) is included and for that alone it is worth the price. I also liked the backstory on the dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe,
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By denelle m. manick on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess when i saw the 100 unforgetable dresses I was thinking from the 1800's to present day. I would say that 80% is 2000- to 2011. If those are the unforgetable dresses we're in a very sorry state in this country!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Airemail on June 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Evidently Mr. Rubenstein is easily impressed by poor dresses and actresses with very bad taste.

I can't imagine where he's been but he's either very young and can't remember when dresses were beautiful and complimented a woman or he hates women.

Most of the book should have been left in the editor's waste basket.

Shame of the both of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ncm on January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the pictures and the stories behind the pictures. Just a beautiful book. I look at a few dresses each evening instead of watching tv.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anita on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my sister who is nuts about fashion. The book is gorgeous. She is going to love it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Deb Wise on March 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was hoping for dresses from classic Hollywood not the drek that passes for fashion these days. Totally forgettable dresses with a small handful of exceptions. I give the book a lukewarm 'meh'.
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