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The Saga of Letitia and Rachel

The Saga of Letitla and Rachel

One of the unexpected pleasures of cataloguing a collection is when hidden treasures are discovered hidden behind dry archive descriptions, such as: “ANONYMOUS : Caricatures The Saga of Letitia and Rachel.  Drawings (23) satirizing a contemporary incident (?).  English, c.1910.” From the first image, my attention was grabbed by these high-quality charming drawings, far too […]

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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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Queen Victoria and the White Wedding Dress

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

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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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


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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Top Wedding Gifts – Chosen by the V&A Shop Team

Dress: check.Shoes: check.Hat: check.Sunshine… keeping fingers crossed.A unique and special present – the V&A Shop Gift List Wedding Season is well and truly upon us, we will all be wishing for perfectly sunny days but if you’re still fretting about what to give to the happy couple here’s what the V&A Shop team (all with […]

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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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