What’s the easiest way to get Alber, Oscar, Stella and a slew of their fashion-loving peers under your Christmas tree? By wrapping up My Favorite Dress (ACC Editions), an A to Z tome devoted to 83 designers, editors and fashionistas who all answer one question: What’s your favorite dress? From Alber’s simple ballerina number for Lanvin from fall 2002, to Zandra Rhode’s multicolored frock (spring 1974) that Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her sister Princess Lee Radziwell both owned, the hefty hardback is an ode to chic. W caught up with two of its authors to talk, you guessed it, dresses.
So is it safe to assume that the two of you are dress girls?
Samantha Erin Safer: I wear nothing but dresses. I mean, if I wear trousers people are like, “Are you okay?” I think I own maybe one pair of jeans.
Gity Monsef: Some people look great in jeans. I, on the other hand, do not. But to be honest, it really is about the whole concept of the dress. It’s such a powerful tool.
Were you surprised by any of the dresses the designers chose as their favorites?
Gity: Alexander McQueen’s. It’s so simple but yet so elegant. When you think of McQueen, you think of these crazy, really abstract objects and here we have this very feminine, very simple dress.
Samantha: And with Galliano too. You would have thought that his was going to be very over the top, but it was this simple silk chiffon floaty number with this absolutely gorgeous silk rosette on the shoulder.
What’s your favorite dress in the book?
Gity: Oh God, all of them are so pretty. Vera Wang’s is so beautiful: the yellow dress on Michelle Williams. Or the Gianfranco Ferré, with Carla Bruni walking down the catwalk. It’s just such a moment, an era, isn’t it?
Samantha: I love Louise Goldin’s. It is kind of short with black Swarovski crystals and quite a nice shoulder and a really lovely silhouette.
Gity: Oh and the Luella Bartley dress too! It’s one of those fashion moments when you remember Kate Moss walking down the runway in it.
How many dresses do you currently you own?
Samantha: Oh my God. I think I have 25 just black dresses so I want to say I have probably 50 dresses altogether. Gity has more than that, I’m sure.
Gity: I’m a bit older so I’ve had a little bit more time. But yes, I don’t recycle them; I just keep them. Being a curator, I collect them in a way. There is a history behind them. I don’t know how many I have though.
Above: Authors Gity Monsef (left) and Samantha Erin Safer
All photos from My Favorite Dress.