Friday, 1 August 2014

V&A: Wedding Dresses

On Wednesday, two of my good girlfriends and I hacked off to the V&A to see the much acclaimed exhibition, Wedding Dresses 1775-2014. I was incredibly excited- I tend to love the fashion exhibitions put on by the V&A and the chance to oggle everything from traditional victorian dresses, to haute couture dresses worn by the rich and famous was too good to miss. I mean, who doesn't love a good frock anyway?

Unfortunately for us, they didn't allow photography inside the exhibition, but I thought I'd mention some of my (more googleable) favourites anyway. Starting with Kate Moss' dress.

I'm sure you've seen the pictures- her wedding to Jamie Hince was splashed everywhere that you must have been blind to miss it. Personally, I've always thought the dress was pretty, but nothing particularly special. However, seeing the Galliano creation in the flesh (or should I say 'fabric'?) gave me an entirely different perspective.

1) It is stunning.

2) No, I mean really stunning.

What the tabloid pictures don't quite manage to pick up is the beautiful amount of detail covering the dress. The dress fades from creamy white down to a heavy rich gold, as sequins and beading pick out a phoenix feather design before pooling in a dense sparkling mass at the hem. The entire dress is embroidered and the patterns sewn into the veil are beautiful. The entire effect is magnificent!

In stark contrast to Kate Moss' dress, was that worn by Dita Von Teese at her wedding to Marilyn Manson. This was a startlingly purple dress with huge full skirts and an off the shoulders neckline, which gave the dress a obviously Vivienne Westwood flare. The colour stood out massively among the broadly more neutral dresses and the construction of the dress made it a work of art. I loved it, although have to admit, for a wedding it was definitely not the colour for me!

Another dress I found compelling was one made by Catherine Rayner in 1996 (and can be seen in the first photo of this post). I just loved the back of this dress, with it's huge bow, flowing down into the little train, although I personally wasn't such a fan of the front.

The exhibition was wonderful. It was fascinating to see not only these red carpet show stoppers, but the dresses of long forgotten country girls, royals and dead and buried ladies of status. I'm not sure I'd ever appreciated the complex evolution of such an important dress until this day!

However, all the dress envy the V&A inspired had worked up an appetite. Therefore India, Sarah and I headed over the road to Comptoir Libnais for a little Lebanese lunch, before rounding off our day with tea and coffee at the Royal Exchange. Yum!

All in all, I had a fantastic day out- I cannot recommend the V&A exhibition enough and so if you have time, you should definitely head down. You won't regret it!

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