If you could have only one dress, wouldn't you make it a black one? Glamorous or modest, seductive or practical, chic and versatile, elegant, powerful, modern, and never out of style, the black dress has been the foundation of a woman's wardrobe for centuries. The allure of the black dress has captured the imagination of generations of couturiers and artists and served as the signature of society's most enviably dressed women. The Black Dress is a lush visual celebration of this fashion classic. With an essay and images selected by Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, this volume features page after uniquely designed page of some of the most compelling dresses in the history of fashion. The diverse imagery includes fine art, runway shots and design sketches, stills from classic films and vintage fashion plates, and, above all, gorgeous evocations of the black dress from the world's greatest designers, illustrators, and photographers.
These include paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, and John Signer Sargent; illustrations by Georges Barbier and Ruben Toledo; and iconic images of movie goddesses such as Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth. The world's foremost fashion designers, from Coco Chanel to Christian Dior, Yohji Yamamoto to Boudicca, are featured in full color throughout, their designs accompanied by quotes on black from writers, artists and fashion personalities. Extended captions at the back of the book provide details one ach dress and its place in fashion history.
Dr. Valerie Steele is Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The author of numerous books, she is also editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory: The journal of Dress, Body, and Culture.