by Oaklands Collection-Kenya
Posted on January 21, 2018 at 8:00 AM
Would you wear for your wedding a bridal gown of blue,
maroon or green color?
and what do you think of a wedding where the bride is not wearing the traditional white gown?
We know that in Africa and Kenya, the dressing for
traditional cultural weddings clothing have mostly been known for
bold colors.In Asia and China, red is a common color for the bride
gown signifying good luck and happiness.
So actually it was not until after mid 1800s when white became the norm, a standard if you may for gowns.Before this it was rare, even unusual for the bride to be in a white gown.
So the poor could not afford white satin and linens because they would be too difficult to clean and maintain them as a regular dress. On the other hand, the wealthy who could afford it, would find white too plain for their opulence, two conflicting reasons.
In 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and wore a relatively plain white satin gown adorned with orange blossom wreath headdress with lace veil and eighteen foot train, carried over her arm.Even Victoria's 12 bridesmaids wore white.
The official wedding photo was published around the world and the white wedding gown became the rage with high-society brides.
At the time, red was still the color of choice for most brides, so the fact that a member of the Royal family wore white instead was, to put it bluntly, a pretty big deal.But Queen Victoria was known to do things her way. She even recycled her dress and wore it multiple times after her ceremony.
Victoria's wedding changed the tradition of wearing the current fashions for gowns, and for the rest of the century, white continued to gain popularity. By the 1880's most women wore soft whites and ivories and the white wedding gown came to symbolize purity and innocence. Later attribution suggested white symbolized virginity.
However, for many working class brides still, marrying in a lavish white gown you would never wear again because of its style and color, was an extravagance they could neither afford nor justify. Without modern conveniences, cleaning a pure white dress that elaborate was next to impossible, so many continued to wed in gowns of soft blues, greens soft ivories. Bonnets and veils were worn according to the style of the day. It wasn't until the end of the 1860's, that veils were worn over the face.
The Industrial Revolution brought about change. The arrival of the department store meant a much greater accessibility of fabrics and designs for women who could now realize their dream of being married in a 'new' wedding dress. Prices came down and the white dress was no longer the preserve of the very wealthy. By 1890, it was accepted that a wedding gown be white.
Wedding gowns were further embellished with lace and pearls. This continued to the outbreak of WW1 when styles became simpler and reflected the changing role of women in society.When the Depression hit, brides made do with their 'best' dress for the wedding. Many brides dyed their white wedding dress after the wedding, keeping only the collar and cuffs white, a common practice at that time.
COMING NEXT - Types of Gowns and How to choose your Ideal