Victoria & Albert’s new fashion exhibition opens this weekend celebrating and tracing the developments of the fashionable white wedding dress over the last two centuries in its ‘Wedding Dress 1775-2014’ exhibit.
The exhibition charts the evolution of the bridal gown displayed chronologically across two floors, with the opening section of the exhibit showcasing some of the earliest examples of wedding fashion including a silk satin court dress from 1775 and a brocade gown with its original bergère hat and shoes from 1780.
It is the mezzanine level, featuring bridal fashion from the last fifty years that is bound to attract a lot of attention, not only does it feature current styles from Jenny Packham and Temperley Bridal but it also highlights the glamour and spectacle of weddings today with a section dedicated to celebrity brides.
Highlights including Kate Moss's couture wedding dress designed by John Galliano, the embroidered silk coat designed by Anna Valentine worn by The Duchess of Cornwall for the blessing after her marriage to HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as the dramatic purple Vivienne Westwood dress chosen by Dita Von Teese, and the Dior outfits worn by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale on their wedding day in 2002.
There are also a number of unconventional wedding outfits including dresses designed by Gareth Pugh and Pam Hogg for the weddings of Katie Shillingford and Mary Chartelis, and Lisa Butcher’s cutaway gown.
Alongside the 80 romantic gowns are accessories including jewellery, shoes, garters, veils, wreaths, hats and corsetry as well as fashion sketches and personal photographs. The exhibition also investigates the histories of the garments, revealing fascinating and personal details about the lives of the wearers, giving an intimate insight into their occupations, circumstances and fashion choices.
The Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 exhibition runs from May 3 until March 15, 2015 and will be accompanied by a serious of events including ‘In Conversation’ events with the likes of Alice Temperley and Bruce Oldfield.
Images: Victoria and Albert Museum