Hal Rubenstein’s, fashion director for In Style magazine since it’s inception 15 years ago, new book – 100 Unforgettable Dresses – hits the bookstores today. When Hal, an expert on red carpet glamor, calls a dress unforgettable, you pay attention. When he calls 100 dresses unforgettable and binds them together into a smart, funny and extremely informative book, if you love fashion, pop culture or a witty turn of phrase, you’ve got to love it.
Published by the HarperCollins imprint Harper Design, Hal’s “100 Unforgettable Dresses” is described by WWD as a “joy read, one that has him on a holiday-timed press offensive” with the author himself stating, “No vanity project here; “I want this book to sell”. To that end, and because of admitted populist proclivities, he rejected the publisher’s original pitch, finding it too insider. “I didn’t want this to be a book for the 500 people I sit with at fashion shows,” he says.
What makes a dress “unforgettable”? According to Hal it’s the coming together of the right dress, the right wearer and a great story. Basically, the starts have to be aligned. Our favorite story involves one of the great all time fashion icons – Audrey Hepburn. Per WWD the story goes like this, “Hepburn, just 24 and working the power of her Oscar win for Roman Holiday, told the studio that for her post-Paris wardrobe for her next film, Sabrina, she wanted to work with Givenchy, 26, rather than with stalwart Edith Head. The studio consented, though Givenchy would get no credit and Hepburn had to finance his work. All agreed. When “Sabrina” won the best costume Oscar, Head accepted without mentioning Givenchy’s name.
The Star, the designer and certainly the story. I believe that”s what they call a trifecta!!
Clockwise from top left: Rita Hayworth in Jean Louis for the movie Jezabel, 1946; Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci, 2007 Golden Globes and Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen, 2011.