Susanna Cordner

Department: Furniture, Textiles and Fashion

I specialised in Fashion History on my Masters Degree and am fascinated by all things sartorial and the stories these pieces can tell. Before working on 'Wedding Dresses 1775-2014', I was an intern on 'Club to Catwalk: London Fashion 1980'. So, those two subjects show just how varied Fashion History, and working at the V&A, can be!

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White muslin dress worn by Mary Dalton Norcliffe, 1807

A Georgian Romance

If you have ever watched a Jane Austen period drama, the style of the white muslin wedding dress worn by Mary Dalton Norcliffe in 1807 will appear as something of a familiar sight. The Georgian period endures as a symbol of British gentry and romance, and its fashions in particular continue to carry these associations. […]

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Detail of the tulle train of the Flowerbomb dress by Ian Stuart, 2011 © V&A Collection

Save the Dates

As I am moving on to work on another project at the museum, my posts in this blog will now be released on a monthly basis. To keep things tidy, the posts will be released on the second Wednesday of every month for the rest of the exhibition’s run (so that’s until March 2015). Please […]

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And so the tweeting begins... © V&A Collection

For the Type Who Might Not Tweet

As I mentioned in my previous post, on the 6th August I took over the V&A’s twitter account for an hour and answered questions that were tweeted in. Once again, you came up with some great ones and it was good to have the chance to chat with some of you – including those who […]

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Detail of flower motif on needle lace veil, Belgian, 1890

#AskTheCurator

If you’re a Twitter-er, you might have spotted already that at 2pm on Wednesday 6th August I will be doing a Q&A on the V&A’s account. So, if you have any questions for me, be they about wedding dresses or the curatorial process, please tweet them in and I will do my best to answer them […]

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Silk-satin wedding dress and Honiton veil worn by Eliza Clay, 1865

A Dress with a View

Wedding dresses are designed with a particular ceremony and site in mind. Beyond the symbolic and ceremonial associations incorporated in its design, such a dress is also created to dazzle and to move in a very particular setting. Therefore, whether it is decorated to catch the candle light of a church, or cut to swirl […]

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Artificial heather flower, from a spray used on a bonnet in Princess Beatrice's trousseau

My Own Dear Lace

129 years ago today, Princess Beatrice, the beloved daughter of Queen Victoria, married Prince Henry of Battenberg. Princess Beatrice was the youngest of Victoria and Albert’s nine children. Her mother became increasingly dependent on her after the death of her father in 1861, when Beatrice was only four years old. While her siblings were strategically […]

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Wedding dress designed by John Galliano, worn by Gwen Stefani, 2002

In a State of Undress

While Victorian values have left white wedding dresses with associations of purity, some modern brides choose designs which celebrate their physicality instead. When Gwen Stefani married Gavin Rossdale on 14 September 2002, she wore a John Galliano couture dress which gave just such an impression. At the time, Gwen stated that ‘when I got engaged, […]

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Ruby red silk gauze wedding dress, worn by Monica Maurice, 1938

The One About the Red Wedding Dress

If you have somehow got away with not hearing the one about the red wedding dress yet, please give my interview with the Decorators a listen. listen to ‘V&A RadioTour #3: The Red Wedding Dress’ on Audioboo On the same site, you can also listen to interviews with five other members of staff, be they a […]

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Hand-coloured engraving by Jules David featuring wedding and day dress designs by Popelin-Ducarre and Plé-Horain. Published in Le Moniteur de la Mode, 1851-2

Queen Victoria and the White Wedding Dress

This blog post focuses on your questions about the connections between Queen Victoria’s wedding and the popularity of the white wedding dress: Cassidy: I have two questions! For the first, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on early 19th century women’s dress, and it’s struck me that for the most part during the […]

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Double-breasted suit by Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent, 2011

Gentlemen Prefer Groomswear

This blog post focuses on your questions which concerned gender relations in the history of wedding dresses: Edwin Coomasaru: Hey, I’m really looking forward to the Q&A. I’d like to hear about the relationships between the exhibition’s wedding dresses and gender, particularly the origins and history of the use of white material. Susanna: Thanks Edwin, […]

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