The Wedding Dresses & Italian Fashion exhibits

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of taking in two exhibits at my favorite museum. I checked out “The Wedding Dress: 300 Years Of Bridal Fashions” and “The Glamour Of Italian Fashion” at the Victoria & Albert museum. Both exhibits were absolutely stunning. I couldn’t take pictures at either exhibit, but I did manage to purchase the books from the exhibits.

The books from both exhibits: The Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions by Edwina Ehrman. The Glamour of Italian Fashion Since 1945 by Sonnet Stanfill. The Origins of Italian Fashion 1900- 1945 by Sofia Gnoli.

The books from both exhibits:
The Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions by Edwina Ehrman.
The Glamour of Italian Fashion Since 1945 by Sonnet Stanfill.
The Origins of Italian Fashion 1900- 1945 by Sofia Gnoli.

The first exhibit that I checked out was “The Wedding Dress”. This exhibit covered the history of the one garment that is the staple of every woman’s life. It is the garment that makes you a queen for a day. Every woman dreams about this garment, almost to the border of obsession. They have designed it in their minds and they can recall each detail blindfolded. Even if the marriage falls apart, the wedding dress is usually the one thing that trumps everything else in style, memory, and even the wedding itself.

The most popular colors were always silver and white for the rich and white for the working class. White became the signature color during the reign of Queen Victoria.  The veils were always subject to fashion and change (orange blossom being the flower of choice). Silk was usually the fabric of choice for the rich and white linen or muslin was usually the fabric of choice for the working class, but also lace, crinoline, satin, tulle and organza have and are also used for many wedding dresses. Each wedding gown reflected the fashion of the time and the taste of the bride. As time went on and the brides became more daring, they also changed up the colors of their gowns (purple, for Dita Von Teese when she married Marilyn Manson, white to hot pink dip dyed ombre, for Gwen Stefani when she married Gavin Rossdale) and also the length (silver and white mini coat dress, for fashion journalist and costume designer, Marit Allen when she married film producer, Sandy Lieberson). For a lot of these dresses, you have to have the personality to carry it off.

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin, who she is dancing with in this shot.

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin, who she is dancing with in this shot.

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin, who is adjusting her garter in this shot.

The wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland on December 3, 2005. The dress was by Vivienne Westwood and the shoes by Christian Louboutin, who is adjusting her garter in this shot.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002.  The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin's suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002. The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin’s suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002.  The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin's suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002. The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin’s suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002.  The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin's suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002. The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin’s suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002.  The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin's suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on September 14, 2002. The dress was by John Galliano for Dior. Gavin’s suit was by Dior Homme.

The wedding dress of fashion journalist and costume designer, Marit Allen when she married film producer, Sandy Lieberson on June 10 1966. The dress was by John Bates.

The wedding dress of fashion journalist and costume designer, Marit Allen when she married film producer, Sandy Lieberson on June 10 1966. The dress was by John Bates.

Friends and even other designers have asked me why I haven’t decided to go into the bridal market, because there is so much money to be made to create these beautiful gowns.  I would love to, but I’m not sure I can handle the unreasonable brides, like the ones on these “Bride-zilla” reality shows. I’m sure I can do a few one off bridal gowns, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet. I will create a couple of wedding gowns, just to have them in my arsenal.

I couldn’t take pictures at the exhibit, but the book is amazing!!!!! Not only do you get to see the dresses in all of their glory, you get to see how they were worn by the people who wore them!!!! I suggest that you should check this exhibit out!!!!

The next exhibit I saw was “The Glamour Of Italian Fashion”. This exhibit covered the history and style of Italian fashion from the 1900’s to today.

The main stay of Italian fashion has always been tailoring with many examples from Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Fiorucci, and Gucci. All of the pieces were fun, sexy and wild. They represent the spirit of the Italian, using the best wool, silks, leathers, beading from all over Italy.

Italy worked its way up to being the taste makers and trendsetters of fashion. Passion overflows in their clothes and they take pride in how they look, which shows in films like “Roman Holiday” and “American Gigolo”, on the streets of Milan, Rome and Tuscany. The book from this exhibit is also amazing and showcases the fashion as it was worn. This is another exhibit that you should check out!!!!

Roman Holiday (1953). This movie captured the glamour and sophistication of Italian fashion.

Roman Holiday (1953). This movie captured the glamour and sophistication of Italian fashion.

American Gigolo (1980). This movie captures the sleek and sexy side of Italian fashion and tailoring. Giorgio Armani did all of the clothes that Richard Gere wears in the movie.  This was when the world was turned on to Giorgio Armani. From the opening scene when Richard lays out all ot the shirts on the bed, to the final scene when he leaves, you get the spirt, feel and sex appeal of Italian fashion.

American Gigolo (1980). This movie captures the sleek and sexy side of Italian fashion and tailoring. Giorgio Armani did all of the clothes that Richard Gere wears in the movie. This was when the world was turned on to Giorgio Armani. From the opening scene when Richard lays out all ot the shirts on the bed, to the final scene when he leaves, you get the spirt, feel and sex appeal of Italian fashion.

I enjoyed both of these exhibits and I hope that you get the chance to check them out!!!!!

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-the-glamour-of-italian-fashion-1945-2014/

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/wedding-dress-1775-2014/

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