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Real wedding dresses of 1911

Continuing with our 1911 wedding theme, here are some stunning extent 1911ish wedding dresses:

One from 1909, but on the cutting edge of fashion, so I’m including it:

Wedding dress, 1909, France (worn in Canada), Kent State

Quite a daringly low neckline for a wedding dress!  It was probably worn over a guimpe.  I love the satin on satin overtunic with a train.

Wedding dress, ca 1910

Anyone recognise what collection this is out of?  I know I know that background, but can’t place it.  The dress is such a great example of Medieval revivalism in the 19teens.

Wedding dress, ca 1910, silk, lace, silk, lace, M.L. Jansen, N.Y. Modiste, Met

Continuing the satin theme, a classic satin sheath with a bit of ruching and lace and a full train.  Also probably worn with a giumpe, as is the next one:

Wedding dress, 1910, US, Kent State Museum

This wedding dress looks like it has a marquisette tunic, just like Tara’s great-grandmothers (and yes, that’s a hint about tomorrow’s terminology post).

Wedding ensemble, 1910, Russian, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art

I just LOVE this Russian wedding dress.  I can’t quite tell what is going on at the hem, but it just ads to the overall graphic simplicity.  It manages to be both very traditionally wedding-y, and quite modern, foreshadowing Russian modernism’s influence on fashions and textiles.

Wedding dress, Otago Settlers Museum, 1911

From a NZ collection (awwww) comes this charming example shown on Isabelle’s body double.  I just adore the pointed side tunics with tassels.

Wedding dress, 1911, Kentucky Museum Collection

This wedding dress is much softer and less structured than the others, and such a simple pattern made interesting with beautiful embellishment.

Wedding Dress, 1911 Dressmaker's Salon of Berta Alkalaj, Kingdom of Serbia, Belgrade, MAA

And finally, a perfectly balanced lace and net and tulle and wax orange blossoms and satin example from Serbia.

Ah, to have been a bride in 1911!  The choices are so pretty!

Rate the Wedding Dress: 1860s cotton ruffles

Last week you LOVED the 1950’s festive party frock.  I’ve never seen so many 10/10 in one post!  Alas, just enough of you were party poopers to make our frock miss out on a perfect belle of the ball rating, but it still managed a very popular 9.3 out of 10.

Since I’m focusing on wedding dresses this week on the blog, what better way to celebrate it than by rating a wedding dress?  Not one from 1911 though – we’ve done quite a few frocks from that era lately, and the focus on 1911 dresses might taint your vote.  So instead I’ve picked an 1860s froock.

This dress from the Met is the epitome of wedding dresses.  It’s WHITE, it’s BIG, it’s RUFFLY.  It’s even got a faux-pannier effect (do you remember being little and drawing wedding dresses and they always had split fronts with panniered poofs?) If ever a 1940s costume designer wanted inspiration for an 1860s wedding dress, it would have been their holy grail.

Wedding dress, French, 1864, Metropolitan Museum of Art

It’s not all typical bridal froth though.  The dress has almost no train, no lace, and it is made of cotton, rather than silk, mixing complete bridal over-the-top ness with a form of restraint in materials and design.

How do you feel about the dress, its puffs, its ruffles, its girth, the combination of design maximalism and bridal minimalism?  Too much, too little? And any chance that you would wear it as your wedding dress?

Rate the Dress on a scale of 1 to 10

A wedding dress of 1911

Tara wrote me last week with a fascinating query.  She’s trying to recreate her great-grandmother’s wedding dress, but all she has is a tantalizingly brief  description:

the bride looked charming in a gown of silk marquisette trimmed with Oriental lace and Irish crochet buttons over cream satin with lace coat to match.  She wore the bridal veil and orange blossoms and carried pink carnations.

As Tara says, not a lot to go on.  She want to know what the dress might have looked like, patterns that could use as a guide to making it, and what silk marquisette and Oriental lace (or their modern equivalent) are.  I thought this would make fun series of posts, so over the next week I’ll try to answer, with lots of pretty pictures!

For starters, let’s do what all brides do when they plan their wedding: look at inspiration images in wedding magazines!

There weren’t any proper wedding magazines in 1911, but the Women’s Own Magazine did do ‘A Page for Brides.’  I’ve already blogged about the bridal headpieces they suggest.  Here’s the rest:

A Page for Brides, Women's Home Magazine, 1911

The new trend for 1911: wedding wreaths instead of bouquets

And how to carry your wreath - just in case you couldn't figure that out for yourself!

And for your bridesmaids, have them wear their own mini-veils!

A suggestion for your veil

Another veil trend

If the suggestions in Women’s Own Magazine don’t do it for you, perhaps these ones will:

Two ways of arranging the bridal veil. In one, silver leaves and pearl "blossoms" hold the filmy lace in position on the hair. In the second, lace forms a dainty cap, adorned with bridal flowers, a clear tulle veil being thrown over the whole

With the accessories sorted, the bride of 1911 can move on to deciding on the most important thing: her dress!  Die Gracieuse has a few charming suggestions:

A wedding dress from De Gracieuse, 1910

Wedding dress, De Gracieuse, 1910

Wedding dress, Die Gracieuse, 1911

And this is cheating just a little, but I found some fantastic images from 1912 and 13:

An exquisite example of a wedding gown in peau de soie interwoven with silver leaves and true-lovers' knots. The train is veiled with tulle and lace to match that composing the upper part of the corsage, 1912

Bride, 1913, Demoiselles

And finally, the perfect bridesmaid: one young enough not to argue with you!  And in an utterly adorable frock:

Child bridesmaid's frock in cream and pink chiffon, garlanded with tiny pink roses. A chiffon veil is held in place by a chaplet of the flowers and leaves