Wedding dress

Room 40

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The V&A holds a stunning collection of wedding attire, spanning five centuries and featuring key designers. Extravagant, demure, edgy, elegant, pure white, bold colour – these ensembles are as varied as the brides and grooms who wore them.

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Highlights include a 17th century royal wedding suit, vibrant outfits from Africa and Asia, plus an array of accessories, including lace veils and silk slippers. The undeniable stars, however, are the wedding dresses themselves. The extensive collection of iconic white gowns perfectly encapsulates the changing moods of both fashion and society, from the late 18th century to the present day.

Exploring Wedding dress

Photo of Wedding Dress and veil, Pam Hogg, 2012, UK. Museum no. T.5-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding Dress and veil, Pam Hogg, 2012, UK. Museum no. T.5-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Man's wedding suit, Mr. Fish, 1967, London, UK. Museum no. T.30:1 to 2-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Man's wedding suit, Mr. Fish, 1967, London, UK. Museum no. T.30:1 to 2-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Photograph, Lafayette Photography, 1910, UK. Museum no. LAF.6728. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Photograph, Lafayette Photography, 1910, UK. Museum no. LAF.6728. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding dress and headdress, Wendy Ramshaw, 1962, UK. Museum no. T.49:1 to 2-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding dress and headdress, Wendy Ramshaw, 1962, UK. Museum no. T.49:1 to 2-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding dress and petticoat, about 1851, UK. Museum no. T.367 to A-1988/T.220-1968. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding dress and petticoat, about 1851, UK. Museum no. T.367 to A-1988/T.220-1968. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding dress (detail), unknown, 1841, UK. Museum no. T.17-1920. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding dress (detail), unknown, 1841, UK. Museum no. T.17-1920. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Kimono (back), Unknown, 1980 – 2000, Japan. Museum no. FE.153-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Kimono (back), Unknown, 1980 – 2000, Japan. Museum no. FE.153-2002. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Jewish Marriage ring, 16th century, possibly German. Museum no. 2746-1855. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Jewish Marriage ring, 16th century, possibly German. Museum no. 2746-1855. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Bridal outfit (detail), Sabyasachi Mukherjee, 2015. Museum no. IS.66-2016. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Bridal outfit (detail), Sabyasachi Mukherjee, 2015. Museum no. IS.66-2016. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Photograph, 1916, UK. Museum no. T.157-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Photograph, 1916, UK. Museum no. T.157-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding dress, red silk gauze, 1938. Museum no. T.716:1 to 3-1995. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding dress, red silk gauze, 1938. Museum no. T.716:1 to 3-1995. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding ensemble, Jean Varon, John Bates, 1966, UK. Museum no. T.261:1 to 2-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding ensemble, Jean Varon, John Bates, 1966, UK. Museum no. T.261:1 to 2-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Fashion design illustration, Val St. Cyr, 1916 – 18, UK. Museum no. E.4976-1958. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fashion design illustration, Val St. Cyr, 1916 – 18, UK. Museum no. E.4976-1958. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Shoes, Peter Robinson, Aida  Woolf, 1914, London, UK. Museum no. T.856B to C-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Shoes, Peter Robinson, Aida Woolf, 1914, London, UK. Museum no. T.856B to C-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Page boy's suit, unknown, about 1894, UK. Museum no. MISC.262:1 to 2-1983. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Page boy's suit, unknown, about 1894, UK. Museum no. MISC.262:1 to 2-1983. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding dress, Norman Hartnell, 1933, London, UK. Museum no. T.836-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding dress, Norman Hartnell, 1933, London, UK. Museum no. T.836-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding hat, Paul Walser Ltd, 1947, UK. Museum no. T.42-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding hat, Paul Walser Ltd, 1947, UK. Museum no. T.42-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Wedding dress (detail), Stern Bros, 1890, New York, United States. Museum no. T.42-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wedding dress (detail), Stern Bros, 1890, New York, United States. Museum no. T.42-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Panorama of a Fashionable Wedding, The Illustrated London News Ltd, 1855, London, UK. Museum no. NAL 172935. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Panorama of a Fashionable Wedding, The Illustrated London News Ltd, 1855, London, UK. Museum no. NAL 172935. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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