Tuesday, 12 November 2013

#43 Fashion and design 20th century wedding dresses

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY                                                                                                                                                      The 1920s When Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (left) married HRH the Duke of York in 1923, the ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey, and the bridal gown was the traditional full length, with a court train behind. Current fashion was followed in the dropped waist and generally unshaped bodice, and in the way the headdress was worn low over the brow, clasping the veil to the bride's head in a way that echoed the cloche hat every woman was wearing then. The style was described in the contemporary press as "medieval", but was really very trendy, except for the length. She chose a traditional bouquet (which does not appear in her official photographs as she laid it at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior on her way out of the Abbey, in memory of her brothers, and others killed in the War) but many brides emphasised the medieval effect by carrying sheaves of white lilies. Elsie Pennell (right) married Charles Locking in Cleethorpes, Lincs, in 1925. Thinking herself at the ripe old age of 26, a it old for virginal white, she chose a dress she could wear again to dances, of beige lace over old gold silk. The style was pure flapper, with shapeless bodice, dropped waist and short skirt. Her big extravagance (she made the dress herself) was the picture hat, of brown and cream velvet, which cost her 29/11d (£1.50) and weeks of agonising over whether she could afford it. She  cachrysanthemums

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     Image result for wedding dress photo                                                                                                                                                                    

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The 1930sAfter the "Roaring Twenties" came the depression of the thirties, and the times were characterised by a change in fashion. Waistlines returned to their natural position, and became more defined. Hemlines dropped back below the knee, though they were never to reach the floor again for day wear. Instead of the boyish look, women emphasised their shape again. This was more pronounced as the decade wore on, with the introduction of bias cut gowns that hugged the female figure. Nora Pennell (right) married Arthur Williams in Cleethorpes, Lincs, in 1931, wearing an oyster pink silk crepe dress in the currently fashionable style of boat shaped neckline, fitted bodice and a short skirt to just below the knee. The wax orangeblossom headdress and silk net veil were also of palest pink, and she carried a bouquet of pink carnations. Her three bridesmaids wore similar outfits in pale blue, green and lemon respectively, and carried mixed sweet peas. The vicar of St.Peter's called it a "Rainbow wedding" and said it was the prettiest he'd ever seen. Wallis Warfield Simpson's blue Mainbocher outfit, that she wore at her wedding to the Duke of Windsor in 1936, clung to her every curve.


Image result for wedding dress photo


Image result for wedding dress photo

The 1940s  The white wedding dress virtually disappeared during the war years. Clothes rationing was introduced in 1941, when fashion almost ceased to exist. A few made brave efforts with parachute silk, whilst others wore gowns borrowed from relatives, but most brides wore uniform. Those not in the services also tended to wear a suit, or "costume" as they were called then, with a floral corsage pinned to the lapel. Betty Hutton, the Woolworth heiress (right) chose a blue silk costume with matching veiled hat for her wedding to Cary Grant in 1942. After the war ended, rationing was still in force, but nobody wanted Princess Elizabeth to skimp on her wedding gown - clothing coupons poured into Buckingham Palace in 1947 from loyal citizens wanting to see her at her best at her marriage to Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey. Consequently, her Hartnell gown was sumptuous, with embroidery and beading decorating the flowing satin, with its long train and silk net veil. The sweetheart neckline and wide shoulders followed a predominant style of the decade, which was soon to give way, in the late forties, to Dior's stunning New Look, with narrow shoulders, nipped waistskirts.

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The 1950s When Joyce Holmes (right) married Gerald Locking in 1951, her gown showed an intermediate style between the padded shouders of the forties, and the narrow look of the fifties. Her draped skirt, reminiscent of Princess Elizabeth's, extended into a full train. The fabric was a creamy satin, with no trimming at all. By contrast in 1955, her cousin Jill Wringe (left), at her wedding to Victor Savage, wore a totally New Look outfit. Her dress was like many others of the decade, of "ballerina" length, and made with a removable lace jacket bodice with the ubiquitous tight sleeve with cuff pointed over the hand, worn over the low cut underdress with its circular skirt held out by stiff petticoats. Many women wore variations on this look, and had the under-dress dyed a new colour afterwards to wear as a cocktail dress. Brocade and lace gradually superceded satin almost universally for wedding gowns. To counterbalance the bouffant skirts, veils, which had previously been usually square, worn folded diagonally with the point at the back and sides, now became circular and waist-length, usually attached to a coronet style headdress.


                                                      







































Image result for wedding dress photo

Image result for wedding dress photo


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