Thursday, November 3, 2011

200 Years of Wedding Dresses at Bendigo

It's been on since early August but it was only last week that I managed to get to the White Wedding Dress exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.  Most of the gowns are on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum but there was an Australian section as well.  I was surprised how busy it was (on a Thursday morning) and that made viewing the exhibition not such a relaxing experience but I'm glad I got to see it.  Not all the dresses were white, nor were they all traditional wedding gowns.  I enjoyed the diversity, a good balance between what you might expect and what was surprising.  My favourite gowns had a curtain connection.  The first was one made during the second world war out of curtain fabric, which, unlike other fabric was not rationed with coupons.  The dress was very elegant and sophisticated but had a 'joie de vivre' about it.  The background was  a pale gold satin which was embossed with white daisies with yellow centres.  It was full length, might have had a tiny train, cant remember but it was slinky.  The other gown was simple, light and airy but also had a freshness.  It was designed by Melbourne designers MaterialByProduct and was designed to be hung as a curtain when not being worn as a wedding dress. Funny though, I didnt like any of the dresses as much as my mum's which hangs on my workroom wall.  Being there  doesnt do justice to the understated elegance of it but given that it almost went to the Op shop, I am pleased to be able to enjoy it everyday. She was married in 1960 and the dress was probably very typical of the time.  Full skirt emphasising a small waist, tiny train, three quarter length sleeves and guipure lace

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