The Wedding Dresses exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum traces the development of the fashionable white wedding dress and its treatment by key fashion designers from 1775-2014.
It is a wonderful display of dresses with everything from those made from heavy embroidered fabric in the 1800s to be worn more than once (very sensible) to the simpler ‘make do and mend’ variety at the end of the second world war through to the more opulent dresses worn by the rich and famous in the current day.
The dresses are displayed in an almost circular arrangement spread over two floors. Projected into the semi domes above the exhibition was a continuous loop of photographs of some of the dresses being worn by their owners. This I felt really helped bring the exhibition to life. There were some lovely quotations from the 1800s interspersed among the dresses. I loved these, they are all part of the stories that make up weddings
My favourite modern-day wedding dress was the one worn by Kate Moss, smothered in delicate embroidery and gold sequins. There was something uniquely ethereal about this particular dress. As you might imagine it was impossibly tiny.
This exhibition was a lovely opportunity to gaze at fabulous fabrics and designs and dream about how the dress I might choose today would differ from the one I wore at my wedding in 1995.
Many exhibitions are almost better experienced alone but I would say this is one to see with someone who would be equally prepared to gasp at the gorgeous fabrics, marvel at the intricate needlework and of course ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ with you at the tiny waist lines that so many of these dresses have adorned.