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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):

Royal Couple

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):

ditta von tesse_m. mansion wedding pic

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