Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Here comes the bride wedding fashion museum shows

'Tis the Season... Wedding Dress Shows
at a Museum Near You
Or at least on a computer screen near you

Whether it's in honor of Valentine's Day, springtime or gearing up for Wedding season we're always in the mood to look at wedding dresses. With an interest in costume and a jewelry maker, I'm always on the lookout for shows to feature.

Check with your local museum, art gallery and library to see if a wedding themed show or exhibit is in the works. 

An auction house may have a wedding themed auction. More likely wedding items on display would be part of another auction. 

Here are three current museum exhibitions featuring wedding dress exhibitions. 

In this earth-friendly age of repurposing and recycling, artists are creating wedding gowns out of all sorts of materials. We're apt to see clever, thoughtful and whimsical ideas on display when least expected. Television challenge shows, especially fashion themes like Project Runway often will have a wedding theme of some kind.

Featured are other ideas to
Joan Crawford 8x10"
What era is your favorite?
 find some amazing wedding looks. 

The Jewish Museum in London has For Richer For Poorer: Weddings Unveiled February 13-May 31, 2015

Maybe you want ideas for your upcoming wedding or you're interested in history. Are you into fashion design, a romantic at heart, a film fan or a fashionista? Some may be custom made, some may be celebrity dresses, costumes, the chic, the outrageous, the iconic.

** BLISS: 19th-Century Wedding Gowns from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. February 11-April 26, 2014

This exhibit took place in the FIDM Museum & Galleries (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles campus). 

Ms. Larson was a fashion collector and historian. Also visit Bound to Impress: Corsets from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. The exhibit highlights unnatural fashions between the 1760s and the 1820s. What would Scarlett O'Hara say about this?

Listen to a 2012 Costume Cafe Podcast Kevin Jones FIDM Curator discuss The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection.

For film students and film lovers, a benefit of attending a show at the FIDM Museum & Galleries is that you may find a show with film and or television costume, particularly when it's the time for industry awards. 

What is your favorite wedding movie?

Father of the Bride Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett
Family wedding films that are bound to be remade

Their Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Show ran through April 2014.

"Featuring over 100 costumes from more than 20 films, this annual exhibition celebrates the creative accomplishments of costume designers and offers visitors an up-close view of the costumer's art. 

"This year's exhibition includes all five 2014 Academy Award nominees for Best Costume: American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson), The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping), The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin), The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor) and 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris).

"It includes costumes from selected films of 2013 will be displayed in this annual exhibition of film costume design. Highlighted in the exhibition will be the previous year’s Academy Award® winner for Best Costume Design, Anna Karenina, designed by Jacqueline Durran."
Frankenstein 1931 BW Movie
Planing a theme wedding, Goth?
A family member of ours graduated from FIDM, and you may recognize that Tim Gunn's new Project Runway show, Under the Gunn takes place on a campus of FIDM.

** The Victoria and Albert Museum in London will host Wedding Dresses 1775-2014, exhibited May 3, 2014 through March 15, 2015. Learn about the history of fashion, the personal tradition of marriage and the couples themselves. 

What's involved in maintaining a garment that is hundreds of years old? What's involved in starting and maintaining a marriage, anyway?

"On display will be the most romantic, glamorous and extravagant wedding dresses from the V&A’s superb collection and will include some important new acquisitions as well as loans including the purple dress worn by Dita Von Teese for her marriage to Marilyn Manson and the outfits worn by Gwen Steffani and Gavin Rossdale on their wedding day."

The V&A Museum has one of my favorite web sites. Their thoughtful discussions on a variety of topics are often transcribed and uploaded. Those of us who can't visit in person can get a good sense of what it's like to visit an exhibit or participate in a discussion. The role of a museum has changed with the advent of the internet.
Prince William and Princess Catherine have celebrated the birth of baby Prince George. The final stop in the tour of Diana a Celebration was the Cincinnati Museum Center. The show ran February 14-August 17, 2014. 

Charles and Diana's wedding July 29, 1981 at  St Paul's Cathedral, London.

Princess Diana's wedding dress, complete with accessories and a little bridesmaid's dress are on display. 

Also in the exhibit are personal photographs and mementos, jewelry, some of her tiaras and other iconic dresses and gowns.

In 2012 and 2013 a traveling exhibit of Princess Grace Style Icon visited the US, Canada, Australia and, of course, Monaco. 

Along with outfits in Grace Kelly's personal collection and costumes she wore on screen, in her roles in Hitchcock and other film roles a replica of her famous wedding dress was included in the show.

Fans saw some resemblance between Princess Grace's dress and the gown worn by Princess Catherine when she married Prince William.

Just as you're apt to see a wedding dress in a fashion show, you may see at
MGM Designer Helen Rose
works on Grace Kelly's
wedding dress
least one in an exhibit of a designer's work or that of a style icon. 

If you were lucky enough to see In the Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition, included was the 1995 bridal gown created for Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. 

Twenty-five of Valentino's seamstresses worked on the dress, created with pearl-encrusted ivory silk, 12 kinds of lace and incorporating a half meter train.

Watch press releases from auction houses. There was an auction of the amazing dresses worn by stars such as Elizabeth Taylor. 

Even if you can't bid, some auction houses bring their collections to different parts of the country. You may be able to see the items in person. Sometimes an item's provenance is fascinating.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
Wedding Poster Photo
Famous Americans Posters
The fashion worn by our political leaders is of historical significance, and wedding dresses would be of particular interest. At the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, artist's reproduction of Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding gown done completely in paper. 

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s gown was the work of Ann Lowe, an African-American dress-maker from Alabama.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s actual wedding gown, part of the Kennedy Library’s permanent collection, is now too fragile for display and was last featured in a 2003 exhibit marking the 50th wedding anniversary.

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave and collaborator Rita Brown created an exact paper replica after visiting the JFK Library. They made careful measurements and notes before production. The paper was manipulated, dyed with tea. The intent was to mimic the texture and color of the original silk. The paper dress was on display in Honor of the Kennedys' 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Similarly you may find specially made dolls in all price ranges who've been carefully crafted, the dolls themselves, the dresses and the details of their accessories to correspond with what famous brides wore on their wedding days.  

Just as some designers rush to knock off what's seen on the red carpet at events such as the Oscars, famous wedding gowns are often imitated as quickly as possible. These days, a studio may or may not work with outside designers to get a dress in stores for fans.

When The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn, Part One was released, designer Alfred Angelo was prepared to give prospective brides the dress they'd seen in ads and trailers as soon as the film opened. Couples could have a wedding resembling that of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson). 

Angelo also offers a collection inspired by Disney characters. He, and others have created a copies of Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen gown. When it is as iconic as Kate Middleton's gown, there are even Halloween costumes made.

One of the top stories in bridal film fashion is the semi-hush-hush situation where British designer Vivienne Westwood was commissioned to create a gown
Miss Piggy and Kermit
An earlier film, a different dress
for none other than Miss Piggy. It's for her new film,
Muppets Most Wanted. The dress is described as an ivory couture gown that is not only stunning but environmentally sound. 

It was made from recycled plastic bottles, decorated in paillettes and is accessorized with a tulle veil. Westwood reportedly created other outfits for the star to wear in the film. 

Whether the wedding would really take place has not been confirmed and the groom, Kermit the Frog has been unavailable for comment.

How are weddings altered by traditions changing through the years, through families, cultures, simply by individual personality? Was the bride a traditionalist, a trailblazer, a bit of both? How can you tell? Are you like she was? 

Regardless of how times and tastes and traditions change, we can usually take something from those we admire and imbue them into our own look. Ever hallway a runway, never so much perhaps as when you're talking about the wedding aisle.

Exhibition Information, Related Pages of Interest:

For Richer, For Poorer Weddings Unveiled The Jewish Museum London 
February-May 2015

The Victoria and Albert Museum London Wedding Dresses 1775-2014; Through March 2015

Tiaras turn you into a princess on your wedding day: tiaras and crystal headbands are so popular now more than ever between the influence of royalty, the celebration of handmade and artisan crafters, programs like Downton Abbey and films like The Great Gatsby. They are for all eras, all styles and budgets.

Paper Art version of Jacqueline Kennedy Wedding Gown information

Paper art replica of Jackie Kennedy bridal gown 

Grace Kelly Costume Barbie: To Catch a Prince, Bridal Doll

British Comedy Weddings on Film and Television

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