Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion

From the Victoria and Albert Museum

Presented at The Museum

of New Zealand,

Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa is situated in the heart of Wellington, New Zealand




Dita Von Teese on her wedding day, 2005. Dress by Vivienne Westwood, hat by Stephen Jones. Photograph by and courtesy of Odessy Barbu.

On Now until 22 April 2012
Admission charges apply

If you are in New Zealand or visiting New Zealand before 22nd April 2012 taking a visit to this exhibition is well worth the effort.

Experience the evocative world of weddings through this extraordinary collection of wedding attire from the 19th century to today. See outfits inspired by tradition, practicality, fashion, fantasy – and, of course, love.

Wedding dress and coat designed by John Bates for his Jean Varon label, London, 1966. Cotton gabardine trimmed with silvered PVC. Worn by Marit Allen for her marriage to Sandy Lieberson in London on 10 June 1966. ©Victoria and Albert Museum

Embroidered silk satin wedding dress by Norman Hartnell, London, 1933. Commissioned by Margaret Whigham for her marriage to Charles Sweeny on 21 February 1933. Given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. ©Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Images

Highlights include celebrity gowns by stellar international designers such as Norman Hartnell, Vivienne Westwood, and Christian Lacroix. Also on show are special commissions by New Zealand designers WORLD, Lindah Lepou, and Jane Yeh.

How is it that the traditional western European white wedding dress has become the garment of choice for brides in many countries and cultures? And what do wedding dress styles say about the social and economic conditions of their day? You'll learn some of the answers from this magnificent display.

Embroidered silk wedding dress by Christian Lacroix, Paris, Autumn/Winter 1992-93 Haute Couture. Given by Christian Lacroix. Photograph by Guy Marineau © 1992

Silk brocade shoes purchased from Peter Robinson, London, 1914. Worn by Phyllis Blaiberg for her marriage to Bertie Mayer Stone at the Bayswater Synagogue, London on 9 September 1914. Given by Mrs B. Rackow ©Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Images

Francis Hooper, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, and Benny Castles discuss their inspiration for the outfits that appear in Unveiled. Plus, we peek backstage as the dress is prepared for its debut at New Zealand Fashion Week. 

More pictures, videos of interviews with designers, recordings by the curator of the museum and much more is available on their website. Even if you can't make it to Wellington to see this exhibition it is definitely worth a visit to their website:

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