RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

What will Kate wear? Fashion through the ages

19th April 2011 Print

Interest in the design of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress is reaching fever pitch in parts of the international media in the run up to the ‘big day’ on 29 April. Fashions have changed over the years – for royal brides and others – as demonstrated by a number of exhibitions being held to coincide with the Royal Wedding.

The Fashion Museum in Bath has mounted a stunning display of exquisite wedding dresses, many of them over one hundred years old. Made of delicate silks and lustrous satins and many with gossamer-fine lace, ribbons, bows and beautiful embroidery these gowns are a testament to the enduring romance of a wedding day. The newest exhibit is a gown designed by Alexander McQueen only last year.

At Killerton House in nearby Devon the National Trust’s exhibition, ‘Dressing up, dressing down’, looks at the wardrobes of the rich and poor down the ages. The collection, which numbers over 17,000 garments, was started by Paulise de Bush in 1933 and includes outfits worn by Queen Victoria.

Further insights into royal fashion can be found at Warwick Castle where the ‘Royal Weekend Party’ exhibit – based around a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1898 - gives visitors an insight into what British high society wore for a weekend in the country at that time. The servants, who also feature in the display, were clearly not as comfortably clothed as their employers!

More recent fashion in shoes is the subject of an exhibition being held this summer at the Bowes Museum which celebrates the ingenuity and creativity of the British designer Vivienne Westwood. The influences on Westwood’s designs – ranging from 16th century Dutch Delft pottery to British colonialism and Victorian dandyism – are examined and are likely to amaze and fascinate visitors to this unique display.

For more information, visit: