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In a State of Undress

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

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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The One About the Red Wedding Dress

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

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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Gentlemen Prefer Groomswear

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

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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June Brides

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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

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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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Revealed: Creating undergarments for a Gucci dress

The Peek-a-Boo evening dress, so called because of its revealing cut out feature and provocatively low neckline, was designed by Tom Ford for Gucci’s Autumn/Winter 2004/5 collection, Ford’s last collection for Gucci. The dress is made of white silk jersey and gathers the plunging neckline with the help of a round ornament with two dragon’s […]

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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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