The Curator Of The V&A's Wedding Dress Exhibition Talks Kate Moss And Kate Middleton

01 May 2014 by

GALLERY >> The V&A's Wedding Exhibition

© John Chase

Silk brocade gown, hat and shoes, 1780. Image reproduced by kind permission of the Olive Matthews Collection, Chertsey Museum. 

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Kate Moss's wedding dress and veil designed by John Galliano, 2011

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Kate Moss's wedding dress and veil designed by John Galliano, 2011

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Panetar and Gharchola 1988, Gujarat, India.

© Emily Hope

Satin and layered tulle wedding dress designed by Pam Hogg, 2012. Courtesy of Mary Charteris

© Lady Oxmantown

Silk embroidered dress designed by Anna Lin Xiaojing.

© Victoria and Albert Museum

‘Rajputana’ wool coat by Bellville Sassoon, London, 1970.

© Sara Haydon

Rajputana wool coat by Bellville Sassoon, London,1970.

© Mr and Mrs Gordon Hodson

Silk and lace wedding dress designed by Isobel, London, 1953.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Silk wedding dress made from lightweight upholstery fabric by Ella Dolling, London, 1941.

© Victoria and Albert Museum

Myrtle and orange-blossom wedding favour, 1889.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Silk wedding dress, over-sleeves and pelerine, 1828.

© Victoria and Albert Museum

Gwen Stefani's wedding dress and Gavin Rossdale wedding suit, 2002.

© Victoria and Albert Museum

Gwen Stefani's wedding dress designed by John Galliano for Dior, 2002.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Pink satin wedding dress by Catherine Rayner, London 1996.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Double breasted frock coat, blue black fine wool, 1871.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Embroidered silk wedding dress by Charles Frederick Worth, Paris, 1880.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Silk Satin Court dress, British, 1775-80 .

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fashion plate, Bridal Dress, June 1816. Rudolph Ackermann, Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashion and Politics

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Embroidered corded silk wedding dress made after a Paquin Lalanne et Cie,Paris. Model by Stern Brothers, New York, 1890.Given by Lord Fairhaven

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Cotton wedding dress, British, 1841. Given by Sheila Battram and Linda Grantham

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell 1933 given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Dita von Teese's Bird of Paradise dress ny Vivienne Westwood. Tricorne hat by Stephen Jones.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Dita von Teese's Bird of Paradise dress ny Vivienne Westwood. Tricorne hat by Stephen Jones.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Silk and leather 'tango' shoes bought from Peter Robinson of London, 1914

© Victoria and Albert Museum

Silk and Fox fur wedding coat Bellville et Cie, 1968

Reverse pleated silk wedding dress by Ian & Marcel, London, 1989

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Toilette de Mariee, La Mode Artistique, Paris. 1880

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Red silk gauze wedding dress, 1938

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Qui a le droit, Wedding Dress, Christian Lacroix 1993 

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Figure silk waistcoat, British, 1845. Given by the Misses Montefiore

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Wool frock coat and trousers, designed by Mr. Fish, London, 1967

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Silk satin wedding dress designed by Charles James, London,1934. Worn by Barbara'Baba' Beaton.Given by Mrs Alec Hambro.

© Illustrated London News Ltd-Mary Evans

Embroidered silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell, 1933 Given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Pam Hogg Wedding Dress worn by Mary Charteris to marry Robbie Furze, 2012 

© Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham spring summer 2014.

Ian Stuart, Revolution Rocks collection, 2011

© Iain Philpott
© Julian Marshal

Temperley Bridal, ‘jean’ wedding dress 2014

© Private Collection

Maud Cecil and Greville Steel leaving St Margaret's Church, Westminster, after their wedding on 17 November 1927

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Antique lace tiara by Philip Tracey, London, 2008. Worn by Nina Farnell-Watson for her wedding to Edward Tryon.

© Hugo Burnand

Embroidered silk coat and silk dress designed by Anna Valentine, feather headdress created by Philip Treacy, 2005.Worn by the Duchess of Cornwall

Detail suit by Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent, worn by Jamie Hince 2011

Wedding Dress of heavy cream corded silk with trained skirt, 1890. Worn by Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers

Pale grey slashed chiffon wedding dress designed by Gareth Pugh and veil by Stephen Jones, 2011.

We can't wait for the V&A's newest exhibition to open on Saturday. Titled 'Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014', the display is a retrospective on wedding style from the very first white gowns to Kate Moss and Gwen Stefani's looks.

The exhibition's running from 3 May 2014 – 15 March 2015, an explores both this history of weddings and the individual stories of brides. We chatted to curator Edwina Ehrman about what makes an iconic dress.

Grazia Daily: What do you think makes an iconic wedding dress?

Edwina: It's a dress that's right for a personality and also reflects a designer's aesthetics. Take Kate Moss - there's a fantastic synergy between her and John Galliano. They're great friends, they understand each other and her dress is magnificent. It's beautifully made, fantastically fine material, wonderfully fine decoration. It has gold sequins which trickle down the dress into a puddle around the hem. It's got real star quality.

Grazia Daily: Do you think Kate Middleton's dress will go down in the history books?

Edwina: It was and is very influential. I'm pretty confident that the current vogue for lace was triggered by her wedding dress. It had a huge global influence. We'll all remember that dress and she looked very happy in it and relaxed and confident. The dress looked right for her and the occasion.

[Kate Middleton on her wedding day - Getty]

Grazia Daily: Do you think that an every bride's dress can be as special as a celebrity's?

Edwina: It's special to them and their family. There are dresses from 'ordinary' people in the show and every one has its own unique story. We have wedding dresses donated by women who've been divorced. They say they loved their dress but they didn't make the wisest choice of husband.

Grazia Daily: Which dress do you think is going to be the most popular?

Edwina: There's a red dress from 1938 that so many people have said is just the most beautiful colour for a wedding dress. And a war time wedding dress made from upholstery fabric. I think people will value the opportunity to see Kate Moss's dress. It's in a case where you can get your nose right up against the glass to look at it.

[Kate Moss and Jamie Hince - Getty]

Grazia Daily: Do you have a favourite?

Edwina: I do like John Galliano's Dior dress for Gwen Stefani, it's very dramatic and unconventional. There's just something about it. It really  suited her and I loved the colour. Although, I find the historical dresses very, very interesting.

Grazia Daily: What can brides-to-be take away from the exhibition?

Edwina: I think it would give you a really good view to different approaches for dressing for your wedding day. I've been told headdresses are tricky and there's a terrific range in the exhibition. It might mean some people choose colour rather than white or visa versa. I think it's a joyous exhibition too. I hope it might make brides look forward to what can be quite an intimidating experience!


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