The Victoria and Albert Museum (V and A) , London
will present an exhibition, which chronicles
the white wedding dress as signature garment
( from 18th century to present-day )
and its design interpretations by
leading creatives and couture houses:
from Charles Worth and Norman Hartnell
to Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang
(to name but a few).
White as wedding dress ‘it colour’
In Western culture, white has evolved as
colour appropriate for the bridal dress.
It is widely believed that this stemmed from interpretation
of white as colour symbol of purity.
Blue was originally regarded as the colour of purity;
hence brides once wore blue on their wedding day.
The convention of white for the bridal dress
commenced with the 1840 marriage of Queen Victoria to
her ‘prince charming’ Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
(image from en.wikipedia):
The bride, Queen Victoria and groom, Prince Albert
With the mass production advances of the
Industrial Revolution, the skills of trained artisans
were no longer in high demand.
Queen Victoria wore white on her special day as
a sign of support for the economically waning
lace industry in England.
White was believed the best colour
to showcase her intricate lace-work dress.
As the bride of her time to copy,
wealthy ladies choose hand-worked, white dresses
to be ‘queen of the day’ for their wedding occasion.
White was already regarded as a colour choice of the wealthy.
As it was easily soiled/dirtied, the financially less-off
could ill afford a garment in white –
of which repeat use was limited.
Only the extremely well-off could afford the luxury
of a bespoke garment and particularly one in white.
Over 80 garments will be on display at the V and A exhibition
from the expected white to the unexpected blast of colour.
Here comes the bride,
all dressed in white … or not
(image from keepy.com):
The bride: Dita von Teese, burlesque entertainer/model
The dress: a purple persuasion by Vivienne Westwood
The husband: Marilyn Manson
(image from tumblr.com):
Dita von Teese and then husband
musican Marilyn Mason
in wedding-day pose
(image from forbes.com):
The bride: Gwen Stefani, recording artist
The dress: pink dipped by John Galliano for Christian Dior
In 2011, Ms. Stefani donated her dress to the V and A.
(image from the guardian.com):
The bride: Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll
whose ill-fated marriage to the 11th Duke of Argyll ended in
a highly-publised ’60s divorce case of sex, scandal
more sex, more scandal (you get the picture …)
Th exhibition will offer insights into the dresses and the wearers,
setting the garments into historical and personal context.
Whether a wedding-wear traditionalist or
an avant-garde fashion explorer
this V and A exhibition is set to delight
visitors with an impressive array of dresses
from various epochs and varied design perspectives.
Wedding Dresses, 1775 – 2014
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
3 May 2014 – 15 March 2015