Wedding Dresses 1775-2014

Words by Bronwyn Stemp

London, Victoria & Albert Museum

Want to see some of the most impressive and famous wedding dresses? Then make sure you head to the V&A now or before March 2015. With individual styles of the wedding dress created by designers such as Vera Wang, Charles Fredrick Worth, Gareth Pugh and John Galliano. 

There is a wedding dress for every woman, whether it’s Margaret Whigham, Harriet Joyce, Kate Moss, Katie Shillingford or the Duchess of Cambridge. Women with particular taste. Silk, gold, purple, silver, white, hat or veil, Dolce & Gabbana or Chanel shoes. What’s more interesting is what’s happening around them at the time, to influence the design of the dress. Who designed their dress? How long did that beading take? What material was used? 

From big hips, skinny skinny waists pulled in by magical corsets to loose, no corsets and avant-garde styles. The exhibition presents the changes in style due to social and political changes around the brides at the time. For instance, due to sexual freedom and women’s rights progressing, the 1960’s saw young British designers creating designs and shapes that had never been seen before.

Katie Shillingford’s dress was by far my favourite. Maybe because it was something you would never imagine to be a wedding dress. The dress hanged so delicately and mystically like candle wax dripping off her body along with a veil (by Stephen Jones) knotted at the top into two ponytail’s.

The exhibition presents innovation for the wedding dress and shows us how the 21st century wedding dress could be almost anything. A 60s style gogo dress or a grey, gothic elegant evening gown. The wedding dress is something that will always be around but will continue to evolve along with cultural change.

Go see for yourself the exquisite designs and dress making by Charles James, Christian Lacroix, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano. Time to appreciate their hard work and vision.

For more information visit: