Written on: 26/08/2014 by MizzFitz (1 review written)
I’ve been to a few of the recent V&A special exhibitions. British Ballgowns was terrific, Grace Kelly was truly superb, David Bowie extraordinary. The latest exhibit, Wedding Dresses 1775 – 2014, is fabulous. It includes some surprises – Camilla Duchess of Cornwall’s outfit was unexpected, as were the dresses on loan from Kate Moss, Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani. Also featured is one of the wedding dresses that “Carrie” wore in the film *** & The City (word banned :) ) for the supposed article in Vogue. Also in the display is the infamous dress designed by Bruce Oldfield and worn by Lisa Butcher in her short marriage – almost a row at the altar about the dress didn’t bode well for the marriage.
Also featured is great video from Royal Weddings – Prince Albert and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyons (later King George and Queen Elizabeth), Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles and Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Note – none of these dresses are included in this exhibition although I have been lucky enough to see a number of these dresses at past Buckingham Palace Summer Opening exhibitions. Yeah, I’m a fan of the wedding dress.
A very special mention must be given to the jaw-dropping, glorious 1920's dress of Miss Margaret Whigham in her wedding to Mr Charles Sweeny, designed by Norman Hartnell. In a display case of its own this dress, with a beautiful train, wonderful beading and of a design that could easily be worn today, is supported by a short video of crowds outside the Brompton Oratory as the couple leave.
Additionally there are small displays of headdresses, veils, shoes and bags. There are a small number of older dresses giving a short history of dresses and designs through the years. The real glory of this exhibition are the gowns themselves, case after case, display upon display of fabulous gowns. Surprisingly, for a very wet Bank Holiday Monday, the queues were nothing like I’ve seen for past exhibits; booking online beforehand guarantees entry though and no queue! Runs to 15 March 2015.
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