Contender for the Single Best Sentence Ever Written in a Fashion Book The lovely Lisa of Quarter Life Vintage was at my place yesterday for a meeting. While she was here I encouraged her to peruse the book 100 Unforgettable Dresses by Hal Rubenstein.
She was quiet for a moment and then proceeded to read the following sentence:
"Liza Minnelli, however, is one of entertainment's most compulsively watchable broken unicorns."
Uhmmmm....What?! What a horrible sentence. And an amazing sentence. And a brilliant sentence.
Rubenstein was writing about Liza in order to reference the red Halston dress she wore for the number, "I Gotcha" in the concert film Liza with a Z. The dress was sexy, unique, and a revelation - much like Liza herself. The turtleneck minidress became a cornerstone of her style for many years, and Halston later used the exact same shade of red when creating costumes for the Broadway musical The Act.
It's SO much fun to read a fashion book when the author understands fashion's historical relevancy, honors the medium, and at the same time realizes that fashion can sometimes be silly or amazingly fun.
Case in point - the inclusion of Carol Burnett's Curtain Dress from her famous "Gone with the Wind" parody. The fact that this made the book as an unforgettable dress makes me incredibly happy.
Whether the sketch itself stands the test of time is debatable (after watching it again it I was taken back by Vicki Lawrence's performance). However, the Curtain Dress was a great moment in TV costume history and holds up as a fantastic visual gag.
The dress appears around the 3:20 mark. You can see the first part of the sketch here.
Have you read any good fashion books lately? Do you think Liza really is a broken unicorn? Did you know about Carol Burnett's Curtain Dress? Do tell!