Disclaimer: I’m not getting married. I just really, really like wedding dresses.
The best thing about living in London is having the opportunity to be an excitable tourist at any point. When you have the best museums in the world right on your doorstep, sometimes you just can’t help but get a bit too overexcited to visit. And that’s exactly what happened with the Wedding Dresses exhibition at the V&A. Yes, it’s been open for around a year already, but it closes in four weeks’ time, and my desperation to go (and see Kate Moss’ dress in real life) had reached fever pitch.
So last weekend, I met my mum at Victoria station and we embarked on one of our more glamorous day trips, over to South Kensington to see some beautiful fluffy white dresses. Unfortunately photos were forbidden inside the exhibition, so I couldn’t whip out my camera to snap the fanciest frocks, but I did manage to sneak a few on my phone for Instagram!
The exhibition was just lovely; downstairs held much older dresses, from the simple shapes and over-the-top grandeur of the 1700s, through to the pure glamour of the 1930s. It was so interesting to see how trends had shifted and changed through time, and being able to reference details from 20th century dresses back to 18th century ones kept us busy. The downstairs exhibit finished with a headdress from the Queen’s wedding (super cute!), and a gorgeous video played beside it, showing all the prominent royal weddings, from the Queen Mother’s through to lovely Duchess Kate’s. A very nice touch!
Upstairs, things were a lot more modern and varied. We saw everything from a seriously 70s’ plain white sundress with a floppy straw hat, through to a super-60s space age silver mac and minidress combo! The designs and trends were wildly varied, from the cute and quirky through to the plain horrendous, but it was so fun to compare them all.
The best bit of the upstairs was the famous celebrity dresses; from a ruffled Lanvin minidress worn by SJP in a Sex And The City scene, to the ethereal grey caped number worn by Katie Shillingford, right on to the dress and coat worn by the Duchess of Cornwall when she married Prince Charles. Alongside these, I found my dream wedding dress – the ‘Rapunzel’ by Jenny Packham. Oh my God. No more needs to be said other than this is just pure heaven.
There was a great selection of celebrity dresses in the exhibit, although my nosey side would have loved to see even more! Pictured behind my dream Jenny Packham dress is Gwen Stefani’s famous pink dip-dyed dress, which was crazy and so pretty! But tying for our favourite dresses, were Kate Moss’ elegant champagne sequinned slinky Galliano number, and Dita Von Teese’s Westwood purple taffeta confection, which was so glamorous and so unusual and so, so Dita! Glorious.
Once we tore ourselves away from the exhibition, we took ourselves off for a little wander around the local area; Kensington is one of mine and my mum’s favourite places for a walk so we love to meander about, given the chance. We stopped off at The Hummingbird Bakery for a couple of obligatory treats, and then took a stroll down into Knightsbridge, to have a look around Harrods for a while.
So, once it was dark and all the lamps were lit, we decided our feet had had enough walking to do, and our eyes had seen quite enough silk and sequins, so we took ourselves off home for a well-deserved cup of tea, and our Hummingbird treats!