Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why White...

Recently, I began to wonder why white for a wedding gown? When did this tradition begin? Researching, I found an article by Readers Digest at www.readersdigest.com.au/white-wedding-dress which broke down when this tradition began. It was 1840 when Queen Victoria, whose picture is in one of our previous blogs, wore a white wedding gown in her marriage to Albert of Saxe-Coburg, that this tradition began. However, even before 1840, a dress has always been the desired article of clothing for brides as far as back as history will take us. Throughout history, women have worn many colors depending on their religion, position in society, or place in time.


Kathryn Chemise Gown
Kathryn Chemise Gown
For instance, early Celtic brides wore red as a symbol of fertility. I decided to research this further and see if this tradition has carried into the current century. What I found were Celtic wedding dress sites, Ebay listings and lots of pictures. It appears the medieval and fairy tale type of wedding dresses, shown to the right, may have a small place in the bridal gown industry. The description of this gown, from www.medievalcollectibles.com, describes the Kathryn Chemise Gown as: "A very pretty long sleeve chemise dress that is made from a lightweight poly/cotton blend fabric that is very breathable and has a elastic neckline giving you the option to wear it on or off the shoulders depending on your mood." I just love the reference that you can wear it 'off the shoulders depending on your mood!"


Modern Bride in Celtic Gown

The bride shown to the left is a modern example of a Celtic bride wearing a red, satin Celtic wedding gown. The fabric is rich, luxurious and can easily be envisioned in white. However, rather than follow the newest tradition of white, this bride choose to wear red as she was inspired by a show on BBC titled, The Tudors which is set in Celtic sixteenth century England. The ruched, fitted sleeves are a modern element she added that makes the gown a little less medieval and creates a more flattering look for the bride. Even though only pictures of Celtic wedding gowns are shown, red is also seen on non-Celtic gowns this year.


Sky blue wedding dress



Another unique color worn in the past was blue, by early Christians. This was because most depictions of the virgin Mary show her in blue and bride's wore this as a symbol of truth and purity. What I first wondered when reading this in the aforementioned Reader's Digest article, was if there was a correlation to the tradition of wearing 'something borrowed, something blue.'  I did not find any information to support a correlation, however, I did find blue is another common color to be worn by brides in 2013. This blue wedding gown is a gorgeous shade and I love the white and blue criss-cross stripe pattern throughout. 




Although white is considered the newest color to wear for a wedding gown as of 1840, that is over 170 years ago. The most popular colors for wedding gowns today are of course, white, followed by ivory and champagne. However, I think women today are ready to see how designers can incorporate new colors into wedding gowns.  As seen above, wedding gowns are already being worn in different colors, and I for one, am looking forward to what other ones may show up on the runway this Fall!

Lu Raquel




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