Liverpool's Sudley House rings the bells for Hitched: Wedding Clothes and Costumes show

By Laura Burgess | 21 July 2010
A close-up photo of a white wedding dress on a dummy with a green flower on the sleeve

(Above) A wedding dress spectacular at Sudley House

Exhibition: Hitched: Wedding Clothes and Costumes, Sudley House, Liverpool, July 2010 – Spring 2011

French designer Paul Poiret changed 20th century fashion for women; he freed women of corsets, designed his signature controversial kimono coat and held flamboyant window displays in his house in Paris.

His biggest contribution to fashion was his approach to dressmaking, centring on draping rather than tailoring and pattern making. He favoured clothing cut along straight lines and constructed of rectangles, swiftly becoming an influential designer.

This exhibition at Sudley House features a wool cashmere and gold brocade wedding dress in the style of fashion's revolutionary Poiret, coming during the most popular spell of the year for weddings. Garments from Victorian times to the present day focus on dresscodes through the ages.

A photo of an elegant tight white wedding dress with silver gilt details

Dresscodes from bygone eras are explored in the show

Featuring dozens of dresses and accessories, visitors can look at traditional customs from different cultural groups based in Liverpool and the role marriage plays in their lives.

Highlights of the display include a glass beaded silk crepe-de-chine wedding dress and train from the 1920s, a beaded sequined red satin dress worn by a bride from Liverpool’s Chinese community in 1966 and a crystal-beaded dress worn by a bride from Liverpool’s traveller community in 2010.

The exhibition also uncovers superstitions such as why the wedding ring is always worn on the third finger of the left hand, or why the meal after the ceremony is known as the wedding breakfast, no matter what time of day it is.

Open 10am – 5pm. Admission free.

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