Monday, June 8, 2015

JUNE BOOK REVIEW FOR BRIDES

It's that time of year again.  June officially marks bridal season and I wanted to share some of the great reads out there about The Big White Dress.  Okay, so some of these publications may be a bit dated but hold on.  There's colossal info on everything from choosing fabric to getting the most out of a sample sale. If you can break away from the screen long enough to peruse any of these gemmies in book form, you' ll be surprised how relaxing it is to curl up with the look, feel and smell of a really good book.  If you're like me and do just about everything online from streaming the stuff most folks watch on TV to reading there's good news: some titles are actually available as e-books or on Kindle.
The best of these are art or coffee table books as much to show off the cover as what's inside.  First and foremost all focus on and recognize the wedding dress is a dress like no other.  In fashion as in life it is an article of clothing held in the highest esteem--the quintessential dress of all dresses . . . .
 "Amy, honestly, do you really need another coffee table book about wedding dresses?" When this amazing book first hit the stores in 2012 the answer was an unmistakable, "You bet!"  Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers is the ultimate art book covering just about every single thing there is to know about wedding chic since the inception of Vogue Magazine. It began as the vision of Anna Winatour, carefully edited and brought to life by Hamish Bowles and Chloe Malle. Intro by Vera Wang, who turns out to be a pretty decent writer. 
This discriminating bride's encyclopedia zeros in on weddings with 400 photographs to go ga ga over. If you really want to know what it's like to tie the knot in style if you're royalty, a model or designer who has graced the covers and guts of Vogue--this is your book.
THE WEDDING DRESS by Maria McBride-Mellinger--So what if this treasure trove of timeless fashion and advice was published in 1993, it still rocks and rings true!  Beautifully written, you can't go wrong with author Maria McBride-Mellinger contributing editor at Bride's and Your New Home magazine. She carefully scopes out the history of the wedding dress from ancient Egypt to a whole section on The Modern Wedding Dress--one of my own faves.  You'll see brides going traditional as well as adding their own touches: A white tulle skirt paired up with a white leather jacket.  Worth the price--this book has inspired my own thinking as well as writing about and designing the wedding dress.
THE WEDDING DRESS: 300 Years of Bridal Fashion by Edwina Ehrman--2011-2014.  Out in hard cover as well as paperback.  The Wedding Dress seems like a common title for all my favorite books on this subject.  The focus here is an historical look at the wedding dress. I particularly liked it because of the British viewpoint in the text as well as images. From dresses and bridal accessories from the 1800s right up to modern times, this book is a real visual journey . . . . 
 A DRESS FOR DIANA By David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Written by her designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, this book tours us through that Spring and Summer of 1981 when the world waited for shy Di to emerge from a gilded carriage to become a real live modern day princess. Once she did, bridal fashion changed forever. This husband and wife design duo from Great Britain were the hottest thing to hit the fashion scene in the early 1980s. They had magnificent talent the world wanted to see more of. I loved their first book 'Style For All Seasons' published in 1983. It was a showcase of their pre Steam Punk, little bit Belle Epoch/Boho gowns and certainly a welcome change after so many years of 1970's funk. Diana's storybook dress eclipsed the granny gown chic and cookie cutter bridal uniforms of the time opening up so many possibilities in fashion. Suddenly bridal designers and manufacturers could innovate and even break a few rules.
I was not disappointed once I read, A Dress for Diana front to cover in one sitting. It isn't one of those tell all books. I'm a hands-on designer so I wasn't all that much interested in reading about Di's lovers or Emanuels' eventual split. No, this is a book about the design process and that special designer-client relationship the Emanuels developed with Di. What I loved most was its colorful and visual timeline from concept to creation of Diana's gown. It was like stepping into a time tunnel and being let in on one of the best kept secrets of the century, the designers guiding us through their Brook Street atelier. There are many sketches and variations on the dress Diana finally chose; photos of the dress as a work in progress, even the flower girls weeks before the wedding. The fabric was custom woven and the designers were firm about wanting a weave that couldn't be duplicated. The most inspiring thing about the book is the way the designers not only created a dress but a whole look for the wedding party to coordinate with the grand scale wedding.
KENNEDY WEDDINGS By Jay Mulvaney--2002.  What could be more iconic to Americans than our numero uno political family getting married? Now with three generations of them limelighted, you can imagine how often a Kennedy anniversary pops up on the calendar. The most celebrated of all has to be, JFK and Jackie's nuptials, the author sharing so much new and unique info that even thirteen years after the book's publication, the Google search is lacking. If you're curious about other Kennedys who aren't so much in the public eye, here's your chance to get to know all about their courtships and time and place in history. For instance, I learned that JFK's sisters Pat and Jean whose 1950s weddings were a couple years apart, wore the very same gown designed by Hattie Carnegie. And did you know Jackie's gown and wedding style were not the type she particularly wanted? To find out more tidbits though you need to sit down with this book. I guarantee you'll get thoroughly lost in it . . . .
Below Left: Caroline Kennedy, in a dress scattered with shamrocks and designed for her by Carolina Herrera, with her uncle Senator Ted Kennedy, who gave her away to Edwin Schlossberg, outside Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville, Massachusetts, in 1986.Below Right: John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (in a pearl-colored silk crepe gown by Narciso Rodriguez) on Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia, in 1996.  photos via Brides.com
So, so many books out there that I couldn't possibly review them all.  But, here are some links to more great titles available.  And don't forget, you know you probably won't buy every book you want so check with your library . . .
Couture Wedding Gowns by Marie Bariller
Bridal Fashion: 1900-1950 by Kathleen York
Wedding Dresses by Sunny Chanday
The Wedding Dress by Oleg Cassini

2 comments:

Rachel said...

I though don't need a book at this point of time but want to have a look at it once for sure that what's inside it.

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