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100 Dresses: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art [Paperback]

Harold Koda
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2010 Metropolitan Museum of Art

What woman can resist imagining herself in a beautiful designer dress? Here, for the first time ever, are 100 fabulous gowns from the permanent collection of the renowned Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, each of which is a reminder of the ways fashion reflects the broader culture that created it.

Featuring designs by Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel, Madame Grès, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, and many others, this one-of-a-kind collection presents a stunning variety of garments. Ranging from the buttoned-up gowns of the late 17th century to the cutting-edge designs of the early 21st, the dresses reflect the sensibilities and excesses of each era while providing a vivid picture of how styles have changed—sometimes radically—over the years. A late 1600s wool dress with a surprising splash of silver thread; a large-bustled red satin dress from the 1800s; a short, shimmery 1920s dancing dress; a glamorous 1950s cocktail dress; and a 1960s minidress—each tells a story about its period and serves as a testament to the enduring ingenuity of the fashion designer’s art.

Images of the dresses are accompanied by informative text and enhanced by close-up details as well as runway photos, fashion plates, works of art, and portraits of designers. A glossary of related terms is also included.

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100 Dresses: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art + Smithsonian Fashion
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Product Description


"The 100 dresses of the title, taken from the largest and most comprehensive costume collection in the world, range across four centuries, from the elaborate, buttoned-up gowns of the 17th century to cutting edge 21st-century designs."—The Globe and Mail
(The Globe and Mail)

"Full of famous ladies’ fabulous gowns, this tome will delight fashion mavens and history buffs alike."—Good Housekeeping
(Good Housekeeping)

"For fashion lovers, this book is an addictive visual history of fashion's rite of passage, replete with breathtaking photography, portraits of designers and detailed insets."—St. Petersburg Times
(St. Petersburg Times)

“100 Dresses, from the Costume Institute's holdings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is not a page-turner. You'll take your sweet time on every exquisite specimen here, enhanced as they are by enlarged detail insets, related works of art, fashion plates, and portraits of designers.”—Austin Chronicle
(Austin Chronicle)

"Features page after page of swoon-worthy concoctions...."—The Washington Post
(The Washington Post)

"100 Dresses will satisfy a broad audience of students and historians, fashion insiders and general consumers. The volume has great visual impact from the cover image...and equally startling pink endpapers; to insets of intricate hand-worked surface decorations; to fine art reproductions and fashion plates; to portrait photos of designers and shots taken on the runway...."—Studio International
(Studio International)

"This one's perfect as a fashionable primer of classic style. . . . Details on the pieces offer historical and cultural context and the whole package may send readers right over to the Met to see the collection in person."—New York Post
(New York Post)

"What better way to spend a cold winter night, than snuggled by the fire with a great book to flip through? From opulent court dresses to frocks by the modern masters, 100 Dresses showcases beautiful creations from The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s extensive collection.  Each entry is accompanied by a detailed description, providing you with a range of historical and cultural facts that express the dresses as more than just draped fabric. For its beautifully designed pages and informative entries, we’ve chosen 100 Dresses as our Must Have book of the holiday season!" —PrettyCity.com

"Here, for the first time ever, are 100 fabulous gowns from the permanent collection of the renowned Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, each of which is a reminder of the ways fashion reflects the broader culture that created it."—The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles
(The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles)

"Features page after page of swoon-worthy concoctions from bold-faced names."—Holly E. Thomas, Washington Post magazine
(Holly E. Thomas Washington Post magazine)

About the Author

Harold Koda is Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great coffee table book Aug. 19 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good resource
I will use it as a reference whenever I watch movies or series where "period" is important as part of the story
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4.0 out of 5 stars 100 Dresses Feb. 19 2012
By Fashion
Great book with nice clear full size pictures. Good for references and inspiration, it is very well put together, would definitly recommend it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Buying Nov. 9 2010
By gemrose - Published on Amazon.com
The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has over 35,000 costumes and accessories in their collection. '100 Dresses' is a collection of favorite dresses selected by the staff. Every selection is choice and the photographs are beautiful. But with such limited space available in this book and such a large collection to choose from, I was a little disappointed that space was given to certain items that have been seen time and time again like the Mondrian dress by Saint Laurent or the wedding dress of the Duchess of Windsor. I did not buy this book to see these, and the other more familiar dresses, yet again. I bought it for the exquisite dresses of the past that I have never seen before like the spectacular 1928 Court Presentation Ensemble or the delicate 1798 dress with a matching fichu. Items such as these (and there are plenty of them in here) are the ones that make this book a must buy for any lover of fashion. There is a hint that there might be another volume coming some day. I sincerely hope so. Now that they have trotted out all the familiar stuff, they can show us more of the treasures that have been kept hidden.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book for fashion lovers Dec 28 2010
By docvel23 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was initially skeptic on buying this book, after all, even though I loved fashion and wearing brand names, I really didn't know much about the intricacies and the details that go into the work of each designer. This book has helped me see the evolution of fashion and how real gorgeous designs will always be timeless... from the early 19th century dresses to the later designs featured in this book, you'll appreciate the details, art and beauty of these creations. I read this in one sitting, (although I had to pause to look at the different terms used) and I was clamoring for more in the end. I so recommend this book for any fashion lover. I am more enamored now with the details in the design and not just the name/brand that goes with the clothing. For sure, this book has taught me how to appreciate fashion even more.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A BOOK AS GOOD AS THIS IS A MUST HAVE Oct. 26 2010
By K. Lipio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every now and then the Metropolitan Musuem of New York City comes out with a book that is a " to have" to add amongst books on fashion that you already have. Something with excellent photograph and just the right fashions to make you want to see the real thing. This is one of those books. A must have for a collector or designer.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, swoon! Dec 22 2010
By Sparky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Absolutely gorgeous to behold. The photography is superb, the book is very high quality (although I wish it were hard cover!), the writing is clear and well-edited. My only complaint, beyond the cover, is that they didn't include more diverse items, including more of the really old stuff from the collection. I love Dior and the New Look as much as the next Fashionista, but those incredibly preserved pieces from the 1700s and 1800s are what I wanted to see more. And the one example from my favorite fashion decade (the 1880s) is a CRAZY-huge bustle. Sure, it exemplifies the extreme of the trend, but the Met has so many gorgeous gowns, I wish they'd included a few less-freaky examples. Guess they can publish "Another 100 Dresses." I'll buy it!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book Dec 6 2010
By dizzylux - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was done so well! Great photos and they gave you as much history on the dress as possible. I really appreciated all the detail.
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