The Hundred Dresses by Erin McKean
The Most Iconic Styles of Our Time

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Unfortunately, Ms. McKean’s expertise as a blogger may have negatively affected her ability to speak in actual truths...It is possible that she aims her books at an audience that is not overly exposed to the subject of fashion.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The dress is the last bit of femininity in our closets; it's the only item of clothing which (most) men and women don't share. Wearing a dress is a powerful way for women to express themselves--and every style conveys a different message. Inspired by the Eleanor Estes' children's classic The Hundred Dresses, Erin McKean's classic-to-be by the same title, with chic illustrations by Donna Mehalko, is a definitive look at the dresses, vintage and modern, that make an inarguable statement about the woman who wears them.

Each evocatively illustrated entry identifies one of a hundred different dresses accompanied by a witty and informative look at the history of that particular style, famous wearers (if applicable), and what message, subtle or overt, is conveyed by the dress. Notes on where such a style could be observed and accessories of the wearer are also included.

Featured are The Wench; The Sari; The Vreeland; The Wrap; The Austen; The Beckham; The Siren (any style, as long as it's red); The Chanel Ingenue; The Caftan; The Guinivere; The Jackie; The Slip Dress; The Biohazard (any dress dangerous to bystanders or the wearer: think Lady Gaga); and scores more. The book also includes a suggested reading list of fashion books, dresses from literature, and an index.

Part style commentary, part fashion blueprint, part clever field guide, The Hundred Dresses will ensure that no woman (or man) ever underestimates the power of the dress.
 

About Erin McKean

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Erin McKean is the author of The Secret Lives of Dresses, a novel inspired by her popular blog, A Dress a Day (dressaday.com), which features vintage clothes and patterns. A lexicographer and the founder of Wordnik.com, she has been published widely, including in the New York Times Magazine and the Boston Globe. She lives in Burlingame, California.Donna Mehalko is an artist and fashion illustrator whose clients include Lord & Taylor, Henri Bendel, Revlon, and L’Oreal. She lives in New York.
 
Published June 11, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA. 228 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Arts & Photography.
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Critic reviews for The Hundred Dresses
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Lesley Mm Blume on Jun 07 2013

Ms. McKean's hit-or-miss interpretations serve as a reminder that the effectiveness of symbolic dressing goes only so far: No matter what a dress's wearer intends to project, the garment's meaning is in the eye of the beholder.

Read Full Review of The Hundred Dresses: The Most... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Jeffrey Felner on Jun 11 2013

Unfortunately, Ms. McKean’s expertise as a blogger may have negatively affected her ability to speak in actual truths...It is possible that she aims her books at an audience that is not overly exposed to the subject of fashion.

Read Full Review of The Hundred Dresses: The Most... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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