This exhibition of wedding dresses though out the years has been on my to visit list since it opened in early summer. I was especially excited as the V&A has an excellent reputation for Fashion and textiles. I have seen other exhibitions involving costumes at the museum before so was looking forward to seeing another exhibition of similar calibre. My review of the Film costume exhibition is here.
It is worth noting that the V&A allows Art Fund card holders half price entry. This is always a bonus if you are going to see something. As always the staff on the desk are helpful and efficient.
The exhibition is in the heart of the clothes section on the ground floor, you can easily spend hours looking in this one section if you have a passion for clothes and fashion through out the ages. Upon entering the exhibition space you see early examples of wedding dresses ranging from elaborate wide Panniers also known as false hips to beautiful cotton empire line dresses that look like they were straight out of the costume department of an Austen drama complete with bonnet.
Some of the early 20th century dresses were very contemporary in style. The wedding dress that was worn by the sister of photographer Cecil Beaton, Barabra, was just that, silver high necked very sleek and very figure hugging (almost scandalously for the 30’s)
The stars of the show however were up stairs. The first dress you see is a stunning Victorian inspired Purple number worn by Dita Von Tease for her marriage to Marilyn Manson. It was paired with most gorgeous matching Louboutin shoes and topped by a small hat facinator.
The gorgeous silver coat worn by the Duchess of Cornwall during her civil marriage to Prince Charles was also stunning, it had a medieval feel to it as well as being contemporary.
Qwen Stefani’s Wedding dress with coral high lights and Dior shoes was also outstanding.
The shoes showed that she clearly had a good time and danced a lot at her wedding party.
It was interesting to see dresses from the different parts of the world including Sri Lanka with an interesting head dress and India with its stunning sari material.
The exhibition was small but perfectly formed. However I would say I was happy that I paid the concession with my Art fund card not sure its worth the full entrance price. For those of you who like a gift shop at the end of the exhibition be prepared to be disappointed. There were not even post cards sold singularly on offer just over priced vaguely wedding themed stuff.
I think what I take form the exhibition is that everyone has individual taste when it comes to their big day and in today’s society the rules are to be broken and while is not the only option open to brides.