Monday March 7, 2011
History of the Wedding Dress (1900s – Now)
The Roaring 1920s Wedding Dresses
Wedding dress styles continued to be ruled by the royals and a little fashion designer from France who went by the name of Coco Chanel. Princess Mary married Viscount Lascelles in 1922 in a wedding dress similar to Lady Elizabeth Bows a.k.a Queen Elizabeth a.k.a the current Queen’s mother, who was one of Princess Mary’s bridesmaids. The 1920s was an age where women declared their independence after gaining the right to vote in August of 1920. Heavy ball gown wedding dresses were replaced by lighter straight lace and silk wedding dresses that were bias cut. Legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel introduced a totally new style by creating a short wedding dress with a long tulle train.
1930s Wedding Dresses
Due to the depression and World War II, 1930s wedding dresses became less ornate and more like modern day women’s suits. Brides felt guilty spending a lot of money or dressing fancy for their wedding while the world was in turmoil. Barbara Hutton, the heiress to Woolworth, a discount department store like Walmart, marred Prince Alexis Mdivani of Georgia in Russia in 1933. Her bias cut floor length satin dress was very simple by royal standards. Wallis Warfield married King Edward the VIII of Britain in 1937 in a suit jacket and long skirt that mirrored the trend of simplicity and signified independence of women.
1940s Wedding Dresses
More ornate dresses demanded the attention of the brides again after WWII ended in 1945. Brides wanted to feel like a princess by wearing long ball gowns again. Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947. What made the influence of Queen Elizabeth II’s influence on wedding dress style was more powerful than any other royal wedding dress because it was the first royal wedding recorded on film. Queen Elizabeth II’s wore a floor length embroidered pure silk gown with pearl and crystal appliqués. Socialite Gloria Vanderbilt’s first wedding dress was as grand as her family fortune. You can see in this video that her full skirt of tulle was so large her husband had to help her control it. She wore a sweetheart bodice with cap sleeves and long white gloves. Gloria Vanderbilt later married CNN reporter Anderson Cooper‘s father.
1950s Wedding Dresses
|Audrey Hepburn’s real wedding dresses versus her movie ones.|
In the 50s, the wedding dresses became more fun, flirty and fuller, reflecting the poodle skirt craze of the 1950s. The epitome of elegance, actress Audrey Hepburn, wore different wedding dress styles in her movies and in her real wedding. In the 1954 movie Sabine, she wore a white strapless wedding dress with black embroidery. In another movie, Ms. Hepburn wore full tulle over chiffon skirt that fell just below the knee with a boat neck bodice and cap sleeves. Her first real wedding dress had a stylish high collar faux button-up bodice with a short full a-line skirt.
Not to be upstaged by Miss Hepburn, seven time bride Elizabeth Taylor married for the first time in the ’50s. We didn’t have the time or patience to find all of Elizabeth’s wedding dresses that spanned five decades.
|Grace Kelly||Marilyn Monroe|
Legendary actress Grace Kelly wed in a beautiful lace, silk taffeta, tulle, wedding dress with long sleeves in 1956 and became Princess of Monaco. Marilyn Monroe, who was married to someone else a decade before, married New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio in a civil ceremony wearing a jacket and full skirt just like Elizabeth Taylor’s second wedding. It seems the trends for brides in the 1950s were to get married several times in order to wear every style of wedding dress available! Today, there are many strapless wedding dresses with black embroidery that brides can wear to their wedding while the two piece jacket and skirt wedding ensemble is reserved for the mother of the bride.
1960s Wedding Dresses
O Jackie! Jackie Bouvier was the American bride. Her wedding dress is probably the most copied wedding dress by American brides of the decade, perhaps of the century. The future Mrs. Jackie Kennedy, like Audrey Hepburn set the standard of elegance. First Lady Jackie Kennedy also made history because it was designed by Anne Lowe, an African-American seamstress who had designed all of her mother’s dresses.
|Eartha Kitt||Priscilla Presley|
Other famous brides like Eartha Kitt, who’s best known for her sexy cat suit on the 1960s show Batman, wore a short-sleeved satin wedding dress with v-neck bodice and full skirt. Singer Elvis Presley married Priscilla Presley in 1967 who designed her own wedding dress. The dress was white silk chiffon with long lace sleeves similar to Queen Elizabeth’s a.k.a Queen Mothers dress in the 1920s.
Short and cute with a tiered pleated skirt described Yoko Ono’s wedding dress. Yoko Ono got married to The Beatles’ John Lennon in 1979. Variations of all of these women’s wedding dresses can be found on brides of the 1960s.
1970s Wedding Dresses
Actress Mia Farrow borrowed the mod theme of the 1960s, the short skirt of Yoko Ono and the suits of the 1940s by wearing a two piece suit at her wedding. President Nixon’s daughter, Tricia Nixon, was featured on the cover of Life magazine wearing a traditional a-line dress with a lace top in 1971.
Bianca Jagger wore a suit jacket by Yves Saint Laurent over her long white wedding skirt in the same year when she wed Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger. Charlie’s Angel and hairstyle icon Farrah Fawcett, got hitched to Lee Majors, star of the Six Million Dollar Man in a floppy hat like Bianca Jagger, but chose a billowy long- sleeved dress that went straight to the floor.
|The Godfather||Princess Caroline|
Farrah’s dress reminds us of the dress worn by Michael Coroline’s sister in the opening scene of The Godfather. Princess Caroline of Monaco, daughter of Grace Kelly, wore a similar dress at her 1970s wedding.
1980s Wedding Dresses
Princess Diana set the style of the decade with her royal wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The world fell in love with Princess Diana and her floor length ivory silk wedding dress with poufy shoulders, lace v-neck with lace appliqué and a train that was long as a train. Okay, it was 26 feet long. Her wedding dress was reminiscent of a Victorian wedding dress with short cascading lace sleeves, empire waist and ball gown skirt.
Fergie, not the Black Eyed Peas Fergie, but Fergie Duchess of York, wed in a Victorian satin gown with a round neckline edged with pearls designed by Linda Ciera. Her sleeves and train lacked all of the lace and appliqué of Princess Diana’s. Maria Shriver, part of the Kennedy clan, wed actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a high neckline, long sleeved lace dress. Her dress was very similar to America’s sweetheart Valerie Bertinelli’s wedding dress worn when she wed rocker Eddie Van Halen. Of course, Madonna wanted to be unique when she wed actor Sean Penn in 1985 in lace sweetheart strapless ball gown.
1990s Wedding Dresses
|Michelle Obama||Mariah Carey|
Women pretty much wore whatever they liked in this decade. Some brides wanted to be more modern in dresses that showed off their curves, while others like First Lady Michelle Obama and singer Mariah Carey liked the classic look of off -the-shoulder bodices, sweetheart necklines and ball gown skirts. Mariah Carey’s dress was designed by Vera Wang, while Michelle Obama’s dress designer is unknown.
|Carolyn Bessette||Jennifer Lopez|
Every single woman wanted to marry John F. Kennedy, Jr., however the beautiful Carolyn Bessette caught his eye. Carolyn Bessette married John F. Kennedy. Jr. in a Narcisco Rodriguez sultry silk crepe wedding dress with spaghetti straps on November 16, 1996. Singer Jennifer Lopez’s wedding dress resembled Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s sexiness and style.
The ’00s and beyond
The millennium of the strapless wedding dress began with Madonna in a beautiful silk strapless and corset bodice wedding dress made by Stella McCartney. In November 2000, singer Jessica Simpson continued the strapless trend in a Vera Wang dress with a sweetheart neckline at her wedding to singer Nick Lachey.
|Catherine Zeta Jones||Katie Holmes|
In 2001, Catherine Zeta Jones wore a long sleeveless and beaded duchess satin wedding dress made by Christian Lacroix. The world had to wait a few more years for the next big celebrity wedding with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. In 2006, Katie Holmes chose a long Giorgio Armani off-the-shoulder lace dress with a scalloped bodice. Eva Longoria was the next celebrity wedding dress that every one got obsessed over. In 2007, she lived up to her status as fashion trendsetter by wearing a sleeveless long silk wedding dress by Angel Sanchez. At her civil ceremony, Eva wore a tulle Chanel dress with jacket which was similar to Mia Farrow’s 1960s wedding jacket.
Today, brides are using Nicole Richie and Chelsea Clinton for style inspiration. In a few months, brides and wedding dress designers will be inspired by the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. We can’t wait!