Here Come the Brides

3 May 2014 – 15 March 2015 Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 had a long journey to arrive at the V&A, having already travelled 46,425 miles, to four international venues – where it was seen by 240,000 people. Here we highlight some of the exciting things that go on behind the scenes in the run up to a major fashion exhibition.

The exhibition showcases around 70 wedding outfits and numerous accessories. Contempory highlights include loans from Dita von Teese, and Gwen Stefani; while stunning examples from the V&A collection, such as garments by designers Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, and Christian Lacroix, demonstrate the facinating history of wedding attire, while also allowing a glimpse into the lives of the wearers.

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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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Purple silk bodice and skirt, trimmed with cream satin and lace. Made and worn by Harriet Joyce, 1899

The Classic and the Quirky

  This blog post focuses on your questions about breaks from tradition in the exhibition and my own personal response to them: Samuel Bernard: How do you feel the truly avant garde dress designs effect the homogenised view of what the wedding dress should be, and where do you think the future of the wedding […]

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White satin wedding dress trimmed with Honiton lace, 1865

Not All White

This blog post focuses on your questions regarding colour, particularly white, in wedding dresses: Maggie Craig:  Have recently been researching for a local history project in north-east Scotland, where a description of mid to late 19th century country weddings says that brides usually wore black, silk if they could afford it, because the dress became their […]

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Katie Shillingford's veil designed by Stephen Jones

Pop the Question

  Thank you all so much for taking part in the Q&A this week – you came up with some really interesting and satisfyingly tricky questions. For now, I have posted your answers as replies in the comment section below. If the website is not behaving itself, they may not appear in the right order, […]

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June Brides

When researching this exhibition, we did a survey of which months were the most popular for weddings among our selection of dresses and the nearly 240 years they cover. While July proved the most popular month, with nine weddings and one date on which two weddings were held, the only other double up of dates […]

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A Charming Bride to Be

We’ve all been a little over excited this week in the build up to a certain surprise. When Jonathan Lim took his girlfriend Sunhye Moon to see ‘Wedding Dresses 1775-2014’ on Thursday afternoon, little did she know she’d be leaving the exhibition as a bride to be. Jonathan had really done his research, and had […]

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Sparkling Occasions

In a recent interview, I was asked to select the ‘must see’ piece of the exhibition. Part of the beauty of wedding dresses is that every individual has a different idea of what the dream – or ‘must see’ – item will be. This idea offers me something of a scapegoat for my difficulty in […]

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Going away outfits

Before it reached London, ‘Wedding Dresses 1775-2014’ was part of the V&A’s touring exhibition programme. Over four years, it was shown in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. While new pieces have been added to the displays of the exhibition in its current incarnation, some garments from the tour have now returned to us in order […]

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Floral Flourishes

It feels almost inevitable that every year the Spring/Summer fashion collections will feature more than a sprinkling of floral designs. Whether the trend be couture cut to mimic the formation of petals or tea dresses decorated in ditsy prints, there’s something about flowers and the longer, warmer days they follow which makes us want clothes […]

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With All My Hartnell

A couple of days before the exhibition launched, I had a surprise – but very welcome – visitor. Mrs Laurel Robinson, formerly Laurel Heath, one of the bride’s whose dresses we have on display, had flown in from her home in Ibiza to attend the Private View, and just couldn’t wait any longer to take […]

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