There are few things we adore more than a good coffee table book, and when said book is loaded cover to cover with history’s most iconic wedding gowns, you better believe we were chomping at the bit to get our hands on a copy.
The must-have read in question is Eleanor Thompson’s The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs That Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion—a fascinating and elaborate guide into two centuries of bridal couture and the quintessential styles that continue to inspire us today.
In a series of intricate illustrations and breathtaking photographs, the dresses come to life as Thompson examines every tiny detail (like fabrics, silhouette, construction, and embellishments) of each show-stopping gown.
There’s the royal ensembles of both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton, Bianca Jagger’s Yves Saint Laurent suit, Kate Moss’s John Galliano sheath dress, and even the Vivienne Westwood creation donned by Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw (a favorite of mine!) for the first attempted wedding to Mr. Big. Plus, loads of runway favorites from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, and Vera Wang are featured too, along with biographies of each designer. Basically, these pages will be the best wedding-dress history lesson you’ve ever had, not to mention an awesome source of inspiration for the dress you’ll wear to walk down the aisle.
Sound like your cup of tea? If so, you should also take a peek at the latest exhibit to hit London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (you know, if you happen to be in the neighborhood), “Wedding Dresses 1775-2014.” A ton of the dresses you’ll find in Thompson’s book are on display here, and let’s just say, it looks pretty amazing.
So while we’re over here planning our trip to London, we suggest you hurry out to Barnes and Noble and pick up The Wedding Dress—or at the very least, hint strongly to someone in your life that you might like this for a gift, please. Your coffee table (and inspiration board!) will be all the better for it.