As of late, I’ve been ending my work weeks on quite a cultured note. Last week, Peter and I attended a classical concert on Friday night and this week my friend Andrea and I went to an exhibit at the Victoria & Albert museum. When did I suddenly become so grown up?! I guess that’s what pregnancy does to you… 😉
This week, our Friday night started with a quick Lebanese dinner at Comptoir Libanais. I’d been wanting to try this restaurant for a while so I was thrilled when Andrea suggested it. The atmosphere was the right mix of casual and festive and all of the food looked incredible! I couldn’t decide on just one thing so I ended up ordering the mezze platter which was a little bit of everything. Such a great choice – I literally wiped the plate clean with pita bread at the end.
After dinner, we walked over to the Victoria & Albert for the Wedding Dresses: 1775 – 2014 exhibit. What a fun, girly thing to do on a dark and rainy Friday night! Pictures weren’t allowed in the exhibit but I took a few sneaky ones which I’ve included throughout this post.
As you’d expect, the exhibit starts with dresses from the 1700s and shows examples of the finest frocks of the time and also dresses from less affluent brides. At that time, it was not uncommon to wear your wedding dress for other occasions after the big day so many brides opted for colored or patterned material and detachable sleeves that could be removed after the church wedding.
As the times (and exhibit) progressed, fashions changed and more modern, sleek silhouettes appeared. Gone were the enormous skirts and puffy sleeves. Especially in the 1930s, the most fashionable dresses had quite form-fitting cuts with very long trains. For some of the dresses, the exhibit incorporated video footage from the day, showing the bride in the dress and, in the case of celebrity weddings, the huge crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the happy couple.
The upper level of the exhibit had all of the modern dresses — short, mod styles from the 60s, peasant style dresses from the 70s, and billowy costume-like gowns from the 80s. They even included wedding dresses from different cultures and celebrity frocks. Here’s an example of a dress from China and Gwen Stefani’s wedding dress from 2002.
Gwen Stefani’s pink dip-dyed dress designed by John Galliano was definitely a highlight for me in the exhibit. I’d seen the dress in pictures before and it always looked lovely on her. What I didn’t realize was just how crazy the actual design of the dress is! There are decorative zippers, asymmetrical folds, and diagonally placed buttons. The dress is fascinating. All the things you think shouldn’t or wouldn’t work actually do! The effect is beautiful but the individual elements seem insane.
Such a treat to see all these gowns in person. Makes me want to play dress up and get married to Peter all over again!