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Bexleyheath exhibition charts wedding dress trends from Victorian era to 1930s

PUBLISHED: 14:52 01 November 2010

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An exhibition of wedding dresses worn by residents in the Victorian era through to the inter-war period has been extended for another six months.

Dress

Something Old Something New at Hall Place in Bourne Road, Bexley, features dresses from the 1890s to the 1930s.

Now curators at the Grade I listed country house have decided to extend the exhibition for another six months, keeping it open until next August.

All the objects in the free exhibition were worn by Bexley residents or brides.

Events officer Sarah Fosker said: “They are beautiful dresses that would inspire any prospective bride. The item that shocked us the most was the 21 inch corset. They are a peculiar shape. I like the headdresses the best. They are very delicate and pretty.”

Sarah Fosker looking at one of the exhibits

The exhibits are from the Bexley Collection, which includes a wide range of wedding dresses in many styles, from many different periods. The three outfits were chosen for display as they illustrate different styles and reflect the way that wedding fashions have changed and developed over the decades. They also reveal how bridal fashion is directly influenced by popular styles of the time.

The tradition of the white wedding dress is believed to have been set in stone when Queen Victoria married the love of her life Prince Albert in 1840. But in 1800 many brides wore white because of its association with purity. Wearing delicate fabrics in such impractical fabrics and colour was also a nod to their wealth.

World events started to affect women’s fashion and after World War One some brides took on a more masculine look. This stemmed from them taking on men’s jobs, with a rise in the hemlines and the binning of the corset.


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