I was pleasantly surprised by this book. At first when I saw it on the almighty Amazon from suggested books I thought, "Oh man another useless coffee table book with just pretty pictures" But then I noticed it was published by the Costume Insitute for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then I knew there was something special there. I instantly ordered it from my Library and was spellbound when I received it. It is a small book for what you would think it's content being but just right. Because it is small it can easily go about with you for instant inspiration and a touch of history.
Each page has a small biography of the dress, it's time period and facts significant to the dress itself. I love how it does not pour knowledge all over you in a scholarly boring manner but keeps it sweet and concise. It gives you enough information for you to explore on your own or you can be satisfied with you tidbit of trivia knowledge. The photos of the dress are also not all face on and they are all on mannequins so you get to see the best side of the dress which is not necessarily the front of her and there is not styling distractions from a live model.
They were extremely selective in this book and it is amazing that they were able to narrow it down to just 100 dresses in my opinion. Whenever there was a dress that had an accompany photo or painting similar they would include that also.
Another fantastic thing from this book is that they took pictures that I cared about such as the detail shots of the embroidery, bead work or lace. These are the kinds of things that get my heart pumping to see the details and how those are constructed because without all the frills a lot of these dresses would be less then impressive.
The dresses that had photos accompanying them were some of my favorites. It is completely different seeing the dress in it's time setting. It just gives a different perspective and life to the dress seeing them so casual.
This is a book that will move from my just reading pile to must own. Even reading through it once I find there are more details to ponder over again and again. The historical facts have made me curious for sure and I have delved deeper into the history then I have in a long time. All these things make it a must have for any fashion/garment enthusiast. The holidays are coming you know ~wink~