on January 7, 2012
I'd really never believed in one person truly "having an eye". I was convinced with Hal Rubenstein's book, 100 Unforgettable Dresses.
The book was a gift from my sister as a hostess gift. Far too opulent as a hostess gift, it was clearly a token of love and peace, to salve the sturm and drang of our tempestuous connection.
After our guests had left, I picked up the book and went upstairs to ready for sleep.
Like any great coffee table book, it existed at many levels.
The first of course was the cover. It beckoned with a soft, washed cream gown encrusted with small yet scrumptious beaded flowers. You couldn't be sure it was the breast of the dress or possibly an impossibly small back panel work by a social x-ray. But there it was. Perfection on satin. Or was it something more sophisticated? I don't have an eye or any education on the lushes of life - fashion, furniture, food or wine - so I couldn't be sure. But it was spectacular.
Then there was the wicked pleasure of picture gazing. Of watching spectacular women or spectacular dresses leap as one turned the page, photo hunting. When the dress bedazzled a singular woman, it was the woman who leaped from the page. When the woman was the hanger for the dress, it was the dress that shouted, look at me.
Usually I'm too ADD to read the written word anymore. Consuming the pictures and picking up phrases, particularly, when the author is smart enough to command the reader's attention through deft choices of title and photo description.
But in this case the salacious, yet proper, cover was followed by a selection of women, dresses, comments and coloured pages that lured the reluctant reader into succumbing to the skills of the writer.
So finally, I began to read. I started with the introduction. I can't stop.