Wedding Dresses 1775–2014 exhibition – V&A Museum, London

Last week we took a trip to the wonderful Victoria and Albert museum in London to see the new wedding dress exhibition for some style inspiration.  The aim of the exhibition is “to trace the eternal fashion of the wedding dress and discover the most romantic, glamorous and iconic dresses from the last 200 years” and we think it definitively succeeds!  Within the exhibition there are over 80 different dress dating from the late 18th century, right up to modern dresses worn by celebrities and royalty.  As you go upstairs, pride of place is Dita Von Teese’s striking blue Vivienne Westwood wedding dress – her waist size is just tiny!
2014HB0746
Displayed over two floors, the exhibition focuses on the wedding dress mainly but also showcases some beautiful accessories and includes details about many of the original owners of the dresses.  You can walk through the dresses by date and see the period dresses popular in the 18th and 19th century, to the more practical bridal gowns that emerged during the Second World War, to the wild designer gowns from the 1960’s onwards.
Silk_brocade_gown_hat_and_shoes_1780._Image_reproduced_by_kind_permission_of_the_Olive_Matthews_Collection_Chertsey_Museum._Photograph_by_John_Chase
Silk brocade gown and petticoat, silk covered straw hat and silk satin shoes, 1780 Worn by Jane Bailey for her marriage to James Wickham. Image reproduced by kind permission of the Olive Matthews Collection, Chertsey Museum. Photograph by John Chase
.
.
The detailing on all the dresses is just amazing and even though some of them are behind glass you can get to look closely at the most amazing workmanship and vintage details.  Handmade lace, intricate embroidery and beaded details just take your breath away.  Inspiration is everywhere!
CIS:T.276-1972;CIS:T.276A-1972
Embroidered corded silk wedding dress made after a Paquin, Lalanne et Cie Paris model by Stern Brothers, New York, 1890. Worn by Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers for her marriage in New York to Bradford Ferris Duff.  Given by Lord Fairhaven
.
.
Theres lots of dresses (and some grooms outfits) from other cultures and countries too.  We love some of the Indian and African examples with their exceptional craftsmanship, embroidery and beautiful bright colours so different from your western typical dress.
2014HB0713
If you love a dress with a long train then this is the inspiration for you.  This Norman Hartnell dress with a 3.6m train was worn by Margaret Wigham in 1933.  It is utterly breath-taking and looks a modern now as it did when it was made.
2014HB0659
Here she is wearing it…
article-2604446-1D20121D00000578-370_964x551
© Illustrated London News/Mary Evans
.
.
As you walk through the exhibition, you feel really privileged to see someone’s most treasured piece of clothing on display and it feels quite emotional knowing that these dresses represented so much for these women.   There is inspiration everywhere as so many different styles and types of dress are featured.
2014HB0596
We loved seeing the celebrity dresses as well – below is Kate Moss’ John Galliano dress when she married in 2011.  It has wonderful peacock detailing in gold’s and browns and a 30’s style veil that’s is just gorgeous.
2014HB0739
Iconic dresses are everywhere  – there are examples from Vera Wang, Amanda Wakeley, Pam Hogg, Ian Stuart, Gareth Pugh and more John Galliano in the dip-dyed pink and ivory dress worn by Gwen Stefani to her 2004 wedding complete with Dior towering heels.
2014HB0727
If you’re looking for some wedding dress inspiration we’d definitely recommend a trip.  With over 200 years of ideas, there’s a dress here every bride will love.  The exhibition runs from 3 May 2014 – 15 March 2015 find out more details here.
2014HB0832

All images © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Are you going to be a vintage bride soon?  Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in Cambridge on 14th September, Harrogate on 21st September, or in London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day.  For more details check the website – http://www.vintageweddingfair.co.uk.

Written by Sarah Gorlov

Follow on Bloglovin

All images © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Title: Silk brocade gown and petticoat, silk covered straw hat and silk satin shoes, 1780 Worn by Jane Bailey for her marriage to James Wickham
Artist: Image reproduced by kind permission of the Olive Matthews Collection, Chertsey Museum.
Date: 1780
Credit line: Photograph by John Chase.

Title: Embroidered corded silk wedding dress made after a Paquin, Lalanne et Cie Paris model by Stern Brothers, New York, 1890
Artist: Worn by Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers for her marriage in New York to Bradford Ferris Duff Given by Lord Fairhaven
Date: 1890
Credit line: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Wedding Dresses 1775–2014 exhibition – V&A Museum, London

  1. […] wedding of uber cool rock stars Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale.  When we visited the Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 exhibition at the V&A recently their amazing outfits were on display and they still looked amazing.  Described […]

Leave a Reply

Magpie Wedding

Manchester Magpie Wedding Show

Creative Wedding Businesses!

Fed up of getting no where at a wedding fair? Want to get more leads and of course more business? Download our free guide: How To Get The Best From A Wedding Fair, filled with tips for the planning stage, on the day and afterwards too.

Success. Your email with the download link will be with you shortly.