Here’s a real gem and the ace of all coffee table books to add to your Summer reading list. For any bride, fashion designer or fan of Princess Di wanting a close up look at the making of her dress, A Dress for Diana is a real gift. Written by her designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel (between their feuds), 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 Britan 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, a tad 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.
One look at this book,and with the click of a mouse it was on its way from Amazon . . . I was not disappointed once I read it front to cover in one sitting. It isn't one of those tell all books. I'm a bridal designer so I wasn't all that much interested in reading about Di's lovers or the Emanuel's 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.
PHOTO CREDITSTop Photos Clockwise: Charles and Diana via House Beautiful///Diana with her bouquet via Tumblr///Wedding Portrait via Fan Pop///Inside Buckingham Palace via Entertainment, Beauty and Style//Book Jackets: A Dress For Diana via Amazon ///Style For All Seasons via Amazon//Designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel: Then via NPG.//Recent via The Telegraph
DIRECTLY ABOVE: Top Left and Right via All Things Princess Diana//Bottom Left Sketch via PFC Auctions///Bottom Right via All Things Princess Diana