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Wedding Dresses: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Start Date 08 July 2016
End Date 02 October 2016
Venue San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
Location California, USA
Curator Kate Eilertsen
exhibition display of mannequins

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles provides a richly illustrated exhibition featuring over 50 wedding dress examples from cultures around the world, spanning the last 100 years. It includes examples of today’s diverse wedding couture.  

The white wedding dress has dominated the Western imagination since it was popularised by Queen Victoria in the 19th century. But the colour, style and ceremonial importance of wedding apparel has often varied according to time period, as well as cultural and religious traditions. In eastern cultures, for instance, brides often choose red to symbolise auspiciousness.

Borrowing from: local cultural organisations, collectors, designers and History San Jose; this show will illuminate the evolution of the wedding dress, ethnic similarities and differences, and explore new questions raised by the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Included in the collection will be a colourful 17’ Moroccan wedding belt, a dress worn by Josie Eldridge Crump in 1895 and a DIY dress designed around a bride’s tattoos. Traditions are clearly no longer limited to something borrowed and something blue. 

The exhibition is guest curated by Kate Eilertsen who says: “Whether it is a traditional kimono, red sari or satin Flapper era dress, the wedding dress reveals much about the traditions and history of communities around the world.”

Image credit: San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.