It was a glamorous trip through more than 100 years of fashion viewing the 27 wedding dresses on display at Expressions Art Centre. One dress in particular, a French silk two piece, has been worn by 6 brides, starting from 1875 and most recently in 1995. All the brides wore the skirt, with the bodice been altered and adjusted to suit. What a wonderful piece of family history.There were two “flapper” style dresses, stunning in their simplicity of line. One had a beautiful lace overlay stitched with pearls, and a small lace train. I just loved the older style gowns with long sleeves, high necklines, bustles, and tiny waists. Girls were certainly much smaller back then, and of course everyone wore corsets, didn’t they.
I was really interested to see the rare 1945 gown made from parachute silk. Imagine the story that goes with this wedding dress! It was made from an Allied parachute picked up by the groom’s brother in Japan after the Hiroshima bombing. What a prize that silk must have been in war time. Plainer gowns were also on show, including a muslin dress made in the Depression, and a more modern short broderie anglaise cotton dress.
Several modern coloured gowns were also shown. I noticed a pretty little green flocked nylon dress, found by the bride in her grandmother’s basement, which was originally a bridesmaid dress. Most unusual was a purple wedding gown, designed by the bride to reflect the colours of the stained glass windows in Old St Paul's church.
All the gowns were beautifully displayed, and ranged from the 1800s up to the present day with two to three dresses from each decade. All the dresses had photos and stories of the brides special day. It was great to wander around the exhibition and view all these special gowns.