Little Black Dress by André Leon Talley

Andre Leon Talley

Photo: Adam Kuehl, SCAD

"Of course, my favorite bridal moment is Melania Trump—we went to Paris together to shop for her big John Galliano dress, and I was there from beginning to end," says a reflective André Leon Talley, the fashion historian and former Editor at Large of American Vogue, who releases his book, Little Black Dress (Skira Rizzoli, $50), this April. "It was a breathtaking wedding, and when she changed for the late night party, the dress simply stood on it's own like a sculpture."

Known for lending his impeccable eye to women of style, and most recently to Savannah College of Art and Design as curator of the of fashion exhibit (for which this book is named) Little Black Dress at The SCAD Museum, Talley has gathered more than 80 timeless black dresses that span fashion epochs. While focused entirely on the little black dress, this book is a classic style reference for women dipping a toe into the white sea of options for an equally iconic purchase—the wedding gown.

"For brides, this book is a primer on how to look at shape, details and dramatic texture," says Talley, pointing to a knee-length corset dress (below) on page 93 by Cushnie et Ochs, in beautifully structured neoprene ("the new crepe de Chine," he mentions) as a great example of style for the girl tying the knot at City Hall. An early morning ceremony? Talley points to page 142, a short dress with romantic ruffle by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. Going for drama? Find inspiration in the volume and "bombast" of Oscar de la Renta's tulle strapless, on page 120, with it's draped bodice and silk taffeta skirt.

Cushnie-et-Ochs.jpg

Photo: Adam Kuehl, SCAD

The Little Black Dress exhibit ran at Savannah College of Art and Design's SCAD Museum of Art through January 27, 2013, and will run at the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture from July to August, 2013.

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