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From flappers newly liberated by jazz, swinging beaded hems and Chanel’s well-bred sophisticated ‘little black dress’ to today’s red-carpet splendors, women have transformed themselves for parties. This beautifully illustrated retrospective captures the effervescence of the party dress.Every major designer has catered to the well-heeled woman’s desire and ability to wear the most flattering frock at the most public occasions, whether for summer afternoon parties, cocktails, or formal balls. Even Coco Chanel, renowned for her comfortable daywear, saw festive party fashion as something quite separate, not to be constrained by matters of practicality. In pages peppered with whimsical quotes and interesting historical facts about the pleasures of dressing up, Alexandra Black traces the rise of the party dress complete with the best examples of gowns by top designers – such as Carolina Hererra, Giorgio Armani, Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Zac Posen – photographed by world-renowned photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Dean Loomis, and Mario Testino. Also included is a trove of historical designs that will inspire fashionistas and budding designers alike.