Until April 22nd 2012 Te Papa is host to the exhibition Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
If you can’t make it to see the exhibition or you have had your interest sparked, explore our Weddings Popular Topic page, and take a look at some of collection on Wedding Fashion:
I do : 100 years of wedding fashion / Caroline Cox.
“I Do is a captivating review of wedding fashion over the last century. Chapter by chapter, the book outlines the changes from the ostentatious Edwardian wedding gowns of the early twentieth century to the knee length flapper gowns of the 1920’s, inspired by Parisian couture and the designer Coco Chanel. By the 1930’s Hollywood reigned and film-star weddings, publicised both on the silver screen and in fan magazines, brought a touch of glamour into the ceremony, which was soon to be cut short by the restrictions of the Second World War. By contrast, the war bride had to cope with walking up the aisle in ‘make-do-and-mend’ concoctions of muslin and parachute silk. Since the 1950’s romantic styles have dominated, influenced by Dior’s New Look and the American ‘sweetheart’ line – despite incursions from street styles and high fashion. But the 1960’s mini – seemingly a rejection of marital bliss and a symbol of independence – was worn by few brides, and despite the effect of the hippie counterculture and feminism, marriage still survives today. A widespread subversion in the look of the bride has yet to happen, suggesting that the white wedding is here to stay.” (Amazon)
The wedding dress : 300 years of bridal fashions / Edwina Ehrman.
“From the romance of its evolution to the splendor of its design, the wedding dress is unlike any other garment, a talisman from a fantasy world, the manifestation of dreams coming true. This book draws on wedding garments in the V&A’s renowned collection along with photographs, letters, memoirs, and newspaper accounts to explore the history of the white wedding dress and the traditions that have developed around it from 1700 to today, when designers from Vera Wang to Vivienne Westwood continue to challenge the aesthetic. Paintings, drawings, and wedding photos depict queens, princesses, celebrities, and everyday women- including Kate Middleton – in their gowns. The text considers the dress in the context of the commercialization of weddings that began in the Victorian era. The Wedding Dress is not only about costume, but also about the cultivation of the image of the bride.” (Library Catalogue)
Vintage weddings : one hundred years of bridal fashion and style / Marnie Fogg ; [foreword by Bruce Oldfield].
“A visual journey through 100 years of wedding styles and dresses, “Vintage Weddings” takes a close look at the key periods, diverse styles, iconoclastic designers, significant ceremonies and cultural influences in wedding fashions. Organized chronologically, this book shows the reader how to recognize the silhouette that will best suit their body shape, identify luxurious fabrics, contrast various styles, and to source appropriate accessories, from gloves and shoes to flowers, veils, jewellery and table decorations. Throughout the book, individual pieces that epitomize the defining characteristic of each designer or decade are analyzed in detail. This book is for those interested in collecting and acquiring all aspects of authentic vintage pieces relating to the wedding ceremony, and also for prospective brides who are buying new, but are looking for sources of inspiration.” (Amazon)
Wedding dress across cultures / edited by Helen Bradley Foster and Donald Clay Johnson.
“Editors Foster and Johnson use the term “dress” for more than clothing. They include body modifications, supplements, and usage based on terminology developed by Ruth Barnes and Joanne Eicher in Dress and Gender: Making and Meaning in Cultural Contexts (CH, Dec’92). These 14 essays by international scholars in art history, textiles, anthropology, folklore, and theatrical costume provide a spectrum of wedding clothing, symbolism, and customs from traditional Swazi bridal garments, Inca sandals and tunics, the Moroccan Berber bridal Aabroq (cloth-and-jewelry headdress and face covering), and Korean embroidered whalot robes to Greek wedding crowns and Slovak bride capping. Several studies cover changes over time within cultures: contemporary political attempts to lower inhibiting dowry requirements for Rabari families (Hindu pastoralists in Kutch, western India); modern marketing through packaged elite weddings in Osaka, Japan; modifications to Alaskan Inupiaq atikluks (parka-style dresses and jackets); and the latest US playful theme weddings (e.g., Renaissance, cowboy, Celtic, Halloween, 1920s), which reject tradition and allow for the ultimate in free choice. The colorful cover might deceive readers looking for a lush coffee-table book, but this small volume, though rich in content, is limited in illustrations. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All libraries. B. B. Chico Regis UniversityCopyright American Library Association, used with permission.” (CHOICE)
Quest for the dress : finding your dream gown without losing your sanity, friends, or groom / Nancy Di Fabbio.
“Having run a bridal gown shop for over 20 years, Nancy Di Fabbio has seen everything from botched plans for a plus-sized bride to wear a petite grandmother’s dress to knock-down, drag-out family fights over the veil. In “Quest for the Dress, ” she draws on her irrepressible sense of humor, experience, and entertaining stories to create one guidebook that helps brides find their dream dress without losing their sanity in the process. The guide includes tips on creating a game plan for the wedding before making any plans, choosing shopping companions carefully, finding the right accessories and the perfect headpiece and veil, a crash course in fashion and fabric, avoiding alteration problems, and caring for a dress after the big day. Perfect for future brides and those close to the bride, “Quest for the Dress” is an enjoyable and useful present for a shower or engagement.” (Syndetics summary)
Bridal couture : fine sewing techniques for wedding gowns and evening wear / Susan Khalje.
“Create a fantasy! Susan Khalje guides readers through the principles and techniques of designing, constructing, and embellishing wedding gowns and evening wear. Ideal for the bride-to-be or seamstress. Learn how to choose the right fabric, work with lace, and problem solve tricky construction issues.” (Syndetics summary)
The Knot book of wedding gowns / by Carley Roney.
“What’s the real difference between an $800 gown and an $8000 gown? Is Dupioni better than Duchesse? When do you need a crinoline, and what is a crumb catcher? From the creator of the #1 online wedding resource, The Knot Book of Wedding Gowns provides the answers to these questions and thousands more. The perfect gift for a bride-to-be, this lavishly illustrated book–more than 250 color photographs and illustrations–tells her everything she needs to know about the single most expensive and important piece of clothing she will ever own. The only fully comprehensive book on the subject, The Knot Book of Wedding Gowns dissects the construction of the dress; profiles the numerous styles; defines and illustrates hundreds of varieties of fabrics, laces, embellishments, and accessories; and provides straightforward counsel on which cuts work best with which fabrics, and what styles look best on which body types. In addition, informative sections explain how and where to search for a dress, how to pull everything together to achieve the perfect look, and how to care for the masterpiece when the wedding is over. Fascinating bits of history throughout unveil the traditions and significance of this most important piece of clothing. For that all-important decision of a lifetime, The Knot Book of Wedding Gowns is the ultimate book on the ultimate dress.” (Syndetics summary)