I visited the V&A over the weekend and attended their Wedding Dresses 1775 – 2014 exhibition.
This was a walk through wedding history, looking at the changes in wedding dresses, how different aspects influenced the design & even how public figures style changed through time.
It started with the large, caged & corseted bouffant dresses that are featured in period dramas to figure hugging, jewel encrusted gowns.
I felt that because I’ve been looking a lot at craft and hand made areas, this would be a good exhibition to visit as wedding dresses are often hand made or contain handmade elements.
Although photography was prohibited within the exhibition, I was able to source many online.
Whilst I was walking around it, reading the descriptions of the dresses, I realised how much I liked the stories behind them – not just admiring the handy-work. Like how different each dress was, the story that accompanied them also made them unique.
I was surprised at how emotional it could make me feel, especially when comparing modern dresses to those of wartime women. They would have wedding dresses that were functional, could be used again and even worn by other women on their special day. Whereas now, every woman wants to look like a princess, strive for a unique design & look for that one off gown.
We view our possessions as comfort blankets that can offer us security or happiness (Robinson, 2014)
This has been important to my research as I found something that enticed me into the exhibition. Wedding dresses are often classed as couture due to them being hand made; something that I have been looking a lot at. I’ve been exploring hand craft (crochet) but never thought to look at this area of fashion. I think that from this I will take the conceptual angle of stories/memories through crochet.
Still keeping this idea of crochet within my mind, but taking my research from the exhibition further. I am going to look at couture designers. I’ve not really looked at many before so this should be enlightening for me.