I'm continuing the topic of the wedding dress exhibition that was on recently at RipponLea, a National Trust house and garden in Melbourne, Australia. The first part of the blog is here.
On the right is my favorite of all the dresses, a gracefully falling peau de soie silk dress embroidered with beads and diamentes and worn by a Melbourne bride, Jeannie Corlett in 1957.
On the left is my second favorite, a beautifully draped dress that almost looks like a modern day lingerie set. It's a gorgeous silk satin, tulle, chiffon and lace dress that was worn by Nancy Sargood on her wedding day in 1915. (Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.)
As I said in the previous blog, not all the dresses exhibited were historical dresses. Many were modern reproductions, made for TV or movie productions.
Here is the wedding dress worn by Kate Winslett when she portrayed Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility.
Amazing detail, don't you think?
Upstairs there was a very interesting room where they gave a small insight into the construction of the garments. There were paper patters, and huge, clumsy-looking old shears, and a number of dummies with half-made garments pinned to them.
The picture below right shows you the inside view of a bodice and you can see how the boning was sewn in. Whalebone was a common material used, being more flexible than metal, and not prone to rusting.(Click on the pic for more detail)
I particularly loved this very clever construction (below right) where tissue-paper patterns (I presume recycled) were pinned to a dummy to create an extraordinary dress. The detail is lovely — and it's just tissue-paper and pins. The magic of dressmaking.
In the bathroom there was a display of underwear. I thought this was a very pretty set. (below left)
Unfortunately the signs that explained the dresses in detail were very hard to read — in small white print on a dark red background, and far enough from the viewing area that I couldn't read them, especially since the light in many of the rooms was quite dim — I presume to protect the dresses. And although I bought the guide book, the dresses are simply listed at the back, with no cross-referencing, so I can't match them to my photos. So I'm very sorry but I cannot even provide dates for some of them, let alone any other details.
But here are some dresses I have no details of, but which I hope you can enjoy anyway.
Here's the back view of a stunning Victorian-era outfit. Can you imagine the weight of all those folds and pleats and embroidery? And yet it falls so gracefully.
I must say, though I'm sure I wouldn't like to wear some of these big heavy dresses with the bustle, I can certainly see the appeal. Isn't this a pretty little hint of bustle? (below)
Below right is another lovely dress I think would be Edwardian, at a guess, with a charming row of tiny pearl buttons down the back and a very graceful drape at the rear. So many of these dresses were displayed—and designed to show a very elegant back view — which I suppose makes sense when you think that most of the people sitting in the church through the ceremony would have plenty of time to examine the gown.
And finally here is a dress from my own era— the Regency, that is — the dress that Gwyneth Paltrow wore in Emma.
So that's just a small taste of a positive feast of wedding dresses from a variety of eras.
Again I apologise for the lack of detail on some of the dresses. If anyone wants more images I'll pop some more pictures on my own blog page.
Which were your favorites? Or what's your favorite movie or TV wedding?