Wedding Dresses: 300 Years of Bridal Fashion

The V&A always deliver in their fashion exhibitions and they have done it again with a sumptuous panorama display of wedding dresses spanning the last two centuries.

Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 features over 80 of the most romantic, glamorous and extravagant wedding outfits from the V&A’s collection, as well as new acquisitions and loans. The dresses of Kate Moss, The Duchess of Cornwall, Gwen Stefani and Dita Von tease grace the upper floor, where we can swoon over exquisite creations from couture designers such as John Galliano, Vera Wang and Jenny Packman.

Displayed chronologically over two floors the exhibition features some of the earliest examples of wedding fashion, including a silk satin court dress (1775), a brocade gown and 19th century muslin creations which were typically embroidered with flowers, leaves and berries. As the 19th century drew to a close historical costume began to influence fashion. By the 1920s and 1930s the era of glamour had arrived and dresses were slim-hipped and made from richly beaded textured fabrics and slinky bias cuts.

During the Second World War when clothing restriction were introduced, brides needed to make imaginative and practical fashion choices. They used non-rationed fabrics such as upholstery materials, net curtaining and parachute silk.

Wedding Dresses 1175-2014 also explores the growth of the wedding industry and the effects of increasing media focus on wedding fashions.

Even though we are sure there will be plenty of images from the exhibition online we really don’t want to spoil it for you so here is a few of our highlights below…

Can you spot which era each piece is from?

v&a wedding dressesSource: Authors own  

Tickets: £12 (concessions available)
V&A Members go free
To book tickets visit: www.vam.ac.uk/weddingdresses #WeddingDresses
If you are unable to visit then make sure you pick up a copy of ‘The Wedding Dress: 300 years of Bridal Fashions’ written by exhibition curator Edwina Ehrman.

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