Chicago Historical Museum: "I Do" Bridal Exhibition

July 13, 2010

I just learned about the I Do! Chicago Ties the Knot bridal exhibit that opened May 22, 2010 at the Chicago Historical Museum.

"Before the grand white wedding, there was the simple ceremony in one's home with family and few friends.There were brown dresses, green, blue, even black, since one's wedding dress served double duty as a special-occasion gown and one's 'Sunday best.' Brides wore so many different colors, a rhyme popped up with a fate for each color. Not until the late nineteenth century did the trend for ivory wedding gowns become popular, often credited to Queen Victoria's startling choice to wear ivory when she wed in 1840.

For centuries, wedding fashion followed everyday fashion. Only recently have brides chosen to eschew contemporary formal wear for styles that directly reference the past. Today, hoop skirts, corsets, sinewy fishtails, long trains, and leg-o-mutton sleeves can all be seen on the aisle, but each style echoes decades past. The Museum's vast costume collection includes a stunning array of wedding attire—for brides, grooms, bridesmaids, and more—that reveals 150 years of fashion favored by Chicago couples. I Do presents forty-five dresses, plus accessories, corsets, men’s attire, and—after June 24—the winning dress of the FashioNext competition."

I am planning a weekend holiday with my daughter & her family in Chicago toward the end of the month. Kirstin is getting married early October, so perhaps she would enjoy the exhibit too! The exhibit runs through January, 2011. Those unable to make it can learn more about the history of wedding fashion via the exhibition's catalog.

We are currently working on a new line of vintage-inspired veiling and headbands. This exhibit is certain to be of interest.
Time to book my train tickets! . . .



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