Thursday, 25 September 2014

Wedding dresses at the V&A

This lovely exhibition is displayed in much the same way as the previous V&A exhibition of evening dresses with the historical clothes on the ground floor and the more modern ones in the mezzanine gallery above. There is some lovely lace on display including a 20 inch deep Honiton flounce on a dress worn by Eliza Clay in 1864, as well as Honiton lace on her collar, cuffs and veil. Also a beautiful Point de gaze veil worn by Roxanna Wentworth at her wedding in 1892 which was later exhibited at the Chicago World Fair of 1893. In contrast to such extravagance, Elizabeth King made her dress out of upholstery fabric for her wartime wedding in 1941 as it wasn’t rationed in the same way as dress fabric; it was a beautiful embroidered fabric nonetheless. Anna Lin also had a lovely dress for her 2004 wedding, which she designed herself, incorporating embroidered phoenix feathers and seams delicately joined with seed pearls. Other favourites of mine were Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones’ simple understated elegant dress by Jasper Conran and ‘Flower bomb’ by Ian Stuart a dramatic extravaganza of net, fabric and flowers. Unfortunately no photography was allowed so the image above, of an 1850 wedding veil of Brussels needle and bobbin lace, is from the permanent display in the V&A costume court.

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