Beautiful book full of beautiful dresses

I have a soft spot for beautiful books. Ones with cloth-bound covers and heavily illustrated end pages. Ones with satin bookmarks and slip cases; gilt edged books. I don’t care if they’re all show and no substance. I type this aware of how shallow it may sound, but (someone has to say it) sometimes the beauty of a thing is just that, its beauty. I’d buy a book on fly-fishing if it was produced and packaged nicely. I’m a bibliophile, I could never warm to any kind of e-reader.

One of the first things I did when I started to write the book pages for the magazine was to introduce a section called Beautiful Book. It was a slot devoted entirely to gorgeous, extravagant books (no, not all of which I got to keep unfortunately). Over the past two years the two that stand out are Taschen’s Pictures by Tim Walker. Both divine.

I never say no to photography books because you never know what you might find. I was pleasantly surprised by My Favourite Dress when it arrived on my desk. First of all it’s sturdy, a hardback with a colourful cover so they didn’t scrimp on the production.

Inside we have the obligatory essay on why fashion matters by the various editors – the most notable of whom is Alexandra Shulman of British Vogue – followed by shots of numerous big wig designers including Betsey Johnson, Donna Karen and the late Alexander McQueen, each accompanied by a picture and brief description of their favourite dresses. The book is, to quote authors Monsef and Safer, “a celebration of the dress”.

Although I’m baffled by the choice of ugly font, I do quite like the quirky end pages. And the shots of the dresses and designers are of good quality so no complaints there.


If you do feel like spoiling yourself, or someone you know, take note that the publisher, the Antique Collectors’ Club, pledges to donate 10% of every copy sold to Save the Children. So now you don’t have to feel so bad for spending over €20 on a book during these monstrous economic times.

Plus it’s much cheaper than a new dress… Just sayin’…



0 Responses to “Beautiful book full of beautiful dresses”

  1. Olive says:

    Love pretty books myself. Don't think it's shallow at all:) Also love the cover of Favourite Dress.

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