Susanna Cordner

Title: Assistant Curator of Texiles and Fashion
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. I've worked on exhibitions such as 'Wedding Dresses 1775-2014' and 'Club to Catwalk: London Fashion 1980'. I like to study the structures and systems at work in the production of clothing - and anything with a little too much sparkle.

Back to the blog front page

Jenny Copsey and her new husband on the steps of St Pancras Town Hall at their wedding in 1971

Waving Off the Brides and Grooms

As the idea of a wedding dress exhibition at the V&A was first proposed ten years ago, before its development, tour and ten months on display at the V&A, it feels like the end of an era as we approach the 15th March closing date of ‘Wedding Dresses 1775-2014′. With that in mind, we thought we would bring […]

Keep reading
Evening Dress by Balenciaga, 1962

Start as you mean to go on

While I was studying for my MA, I used to use research trips to London as an excuse to head to the V&A. In particular, since I obviously always ended up in the Fashion Gallery, I used to ‘visit’ a dress by Balenciaga. The Fashion Gallery case displays are rotated and changed every few years, […]

Keep reading
Honiton lace veil, 1865 © V&A Collection

A Romantic Frame of Mind

As well as placing the bride in a slight state of mystery for her groom as the ceremony commences, a wedding veil flatters and frames the woman’s face. As in all aspects of wedding wear tradition, a veil must balance style with symbolism. As the ideal of a well to do young bride in white […]

Keep reading
T.61-1972 - Tapestry designed by Jean Lurcat, 1963-64

Hunting for Treasure

Acting as a link between our stores and galleries, the North Court Store has served as a temporary home to many objects as they enter our Textiles and Fashion collection or are at the ready to go on display. As the space is soon to be converted as part of the V&A’s FuturePlan project, we […]

Keep reading
Debenhan & Freebody wedding dress, 1926 © V&A Collection

Hitting the Sales

As January now seems forever associated with the sales, this month’s post will explore the history of purchasing wedding dresses from the late eighteenth century to the present day. An 18th century bride would be expected to marry prepared with a trousseau appropriate for her new life as a wife. Depending on her familial circumstances […]

Keep reading
Metal minaudière decorated in faux pearls, 1956

A Boxing Day Wedding

We all need a little glitter come the festive season, and brides are no exception to this rule. As previously explored, winter weddings – preferably made white with snow – offer the opportunity for velvet dresses and fur stoles. The dark days also mean such ceremonies are lit by further candles and lights than their […]

Keep reading
Suit worn by Christopher Breward for his Civil Partnership ceremony, 2006 © V&A Collection

Friends of the Couple

While we are honoured to have the wedding dresses of celebrities on display, we were equally touched to be loaned and trusted with pieces worn by those who are, perhaps, less well known but no less significant. While curating the exhibition, an emphasis was placed on representing lots of different kinds of brides and weddings […]

Keep reading
Invitation to our interview with DvF © V&A Collection

Bohemian Wrapsody

A very special guest will be on her way to the V&A next week. On Thursday 6th November, Diane von Furstenberg is paying us a visit to talk about her ongoing career of over forty years as a leading fashion designer and icon. Diane started her career in fashion design in 1970. Two years later, […]

Keep reading
Courtesy of Ralph & Russo ©

Ralph & Russo: Let the Glamour Begin

Weddings and fashion shows have something key in common. When attending either, guests wait in excited anticipation for a grand entrance, and a first sighting of The Dress. On Friday, these elements will combine, as the couturiers Ralph & Russo join us at the museum to put on a very special event for our Fashion […]

Keep reading
Silk velvet wedding dress, 1927

How to Warm a Wedding

As the nights draw in, so too do the clothes we wear, as we swap loose sun dresses for wraps and jumpers. This change in style transfers inevitably into bridal wear – although many brides do attempt to overcome the cold, shivering slightly in a sleeveless dress or wrapped in a stole or cape. The […]

Keep reading