A tunic with a cloak in white silk

November 25 [Mon], 2013, 12:20
Prince William and Kate Middleton's recent nuptials inspired a global bout of wedding fever, and was even said to lift the British public from the doldrums of economic recession. Powerful things, weddings.Whether you think the institution of marriage is the best thing since sliced bread or not worth a boxful of confetti, you cannot help but be swept up in the romance of it all. And apart from the actual intent of the day saying "I do" to one's beloved,The Frock is always a big part of the big day.From meringues with swathes of silk and tulle to sleeker styles, few garments are chosen with as much care and attention to detail as the vintage cocktail dresses.

With prices along Melbourne's bride-to-be central High St, Armadale hovering between $5000 and $10,000, a bridal gown represents most women's single largest investment of clothing in her lifetime.TV glamour girl Catriona Rowntree says a wedding gown's cost-per-wear ratio is ridiculous, but justifiable. "The truth is, it's as close as we get to our own princess moment," she says."There's absolutely no rhyme nor reason in the fact that you'll probably only wear the dress for a few hours and it will probably be the most expensive dress you'll ever fork out for."There's great romance involved, very little sense and hopefully many happy memories are made."I loved the process of choosing the designer, going in for fittings, the veil. The moment the veil was put on my head I burst into tears because I thought, 'Wow, I'm really getting married'."It's a gorgeous time in a girl's life."After the honeymoon tan has faded, some vintage inspired bridesmaid dresses are lovingly drycleaned and boxed, never to see daylight again, or ready to be passed on to future generations; others have been known to end up in children's dress-up boxes. A special few will emerge in international exhibitions such as the tribute to the white wedding dress that's about to hit Bendigo.

What is it with white, anyway? Philippa of England was the first documented princess in history to wear a white wedding gown - a tunic with a cloak in white silk - in 1406, but the "colour" really became popular among brides in the mid-1800s, when Queen Victoria wore a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert in order to incorporate some lace she owned. The official wedding photograph was widely published, and many other brides opted for a similar vintage cocktail dresses in homage to the queen's choice. Good to see copycat gowns have been a long-held tradition.White was also a status symbol in the centuries when laundry was done by hand. Today, the colour is said to symbolise a fresh start, transforming women into brides embarking on a new phase of their life.
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