No matter how little interest you may take in fashion on a day-to-day basis, there is one social engagement guaranteed to turn anyone into a would-be Trinny or Susannah: from the mother of the bride to four-year-old page boys, no one at a wedding escapes sartorial scrutiny, although naturally the greatest attention is reserved for the bride and her finery.
So the appeal of a publication by the crystal company Swarovski, Unbridaled: The Marriage of Tradition and Avant Garde, will no doubt extend beyond fashionistas. The glossy tome showcases the efforts of a legion of top designers commissioned to create couture wedding dresses using – you've guessed it – Swarovski crystals. And the results are pretty spectacular.
Traditionally the last outfit to grace the catwalk in any fashion show, the wedding dress is the only garment whose extravagant haute couture incarnation coincides closely with its real-life counterpart, so the publishers' claim that the book is the perfect "mood board" for brides-to-be is not all that outlandish.
With the names involved ranging from old masters such as John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood to bright young thing Christopher Kane, there's inspiration for brides of all fashion persuasions, as a healthy quota of floor-trailing flounces is offset by the odd minimalist mini-dress. Though it's admittedly hard to imagine just who might plump for a Westwood skirt worn bare-breasted with a Manik Mercian crystal neckpiece. And you thought off-white was racy.
'Swarovski Unbridaled...' (Swarovski, £32) is available from tomorrow