4 Of The Most Famous Dresses In History

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When our EIC Rachel Zoe first met William Banks-Blaney, they bonded over a vintage Yves Saint Laurent dress at his London shop, WilliamVintage. Their deep love for historical fashion and couture made them instant friends. This week William released 25 Dresses, a fashion book highlighting the most iconic dresses of the 20th century and the history behind each famous frock. Here are 4 of our favorites from the book including a retro Courrèges minidress and a spectacular chain-detail Alexander McQueen gown.

The perfect gift for every fashion aficionado.

25 Dresses, $47 available at www.williamvintage.com

Courrèges, 1965

"A Courrèges dress is about far more than crisp tailoring, clean lines and the go-go girls of the 1960s. It symbolized the aspirations of a modern, liberal generation of women who no longer wanted to look back to a pre-war heyday."

Balenciaga Haute Couture, 1951

"The appeal of his creations were succinctly explained by Diana Vreeland, the fabled Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue during the 1960s: ‘In a Balenciaga you were the only woman in the room...no other woman existed.'"

Alexander McQueen For Givenchy Haute Couture, 1998

"This dress, in the palest dove-grey silk crepe and embroidered with chainmail by the legendary house of François Lesage, holds the signature of McQueen, with its high collar, tightly capped sleeves and undulating bias."

Fortuny, 1918

"A Fortuny Delphos is perhaps the most celebrated dress ever designed, yet seemingly it is no more than a sheath of silk with a simple belt."