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Wedding Dress and Headdress

early 1962 (designed), early 1962 (made), 12/08/1962 (worn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This wedding dress was designed and worn by Wendy Ramshaw (b. 1939) for her marriage to David Watkins (b. 1940) at Christ Church, Sunderland, Co. Durham (now Tyne & Wear) on 12 August 1962. The bride chose the fabrics and had the dress made up by a local dressmaker. She was a fan of the French film actress Brigitte Bardot (b. 1933), and based her design on the pink gingham dress by Jacques Esterel (1918-1974) that Bardot wore for her 1959 wedding. The bell-shaped skirt, elbow length sleeves and deep square neckline were still very fashionable in 1962.

The length of the skirt is interesting. Since the late 1920s traditional white-wedding dresses had tended to be long. Although the mid-calf length, or ‘ballerina’ dress became popular in the 1950s, it was quite unusual for dresses to be made shorter. The below-the-knee day-length hemline on this dress gives it a lightness and youthfulness which offsets the formality of the stiff, ribbed white satin fabric. Only a few years later, short, and even mini-length wedding dresses would become increasingly acceptable, although these have never entirely replaced the formal full-length gown which remains the most typical choice for weddings in the early 21st century.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Wedding Dress
  • Wedding Headdress
Materials and Techniques
Machine-sewn synthetic ribbed silk, satin, Vilene, nylon net, pearl beads, satin ribbons
Brief Description
Wedding dress and headdress of ribbed silk, satin, nylon net, artificial pearls and flowers, Wendy Ramshaw, Great Britain, 1962.
Physical Description
Short wedding dress made of heavily ribbed white artificial silk with net, pearl beads, satin ribbons and artificial flowers headdress.
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given and worn by Wendy Ramshaw
Object history
This dress was designed by Wendy Ramshaw for her marriage to David Watkins at Christ Church, Sunderland, Co. Durham (now Tyne & Wear) on 12 August 1962. She had it made up by a local dressmaker, who also made up the bridesmaid dresses that Wendy designed.
Summary
This wedding dress was designed and worn by Wendy Ramshaw (b. 1939) for her marriage to David Watkins (b. 1940) at Christ Church, Sunderland, Co. Durham (now Tyne & Wear) on 12 August 1962. The bride chose the fabrics and had the dress made up by a local dressmaker. She was a fan of the French film actress Brigitte Bardot (b. 1933), and based her design on the pink gingham dress by Jacques Esterel (1918-1974) that Bardot wore for her 1959 wedding. The bell-shaped skirt, elbow length sleeves and deep square neckline were still very fashionable in 1962.



The length of the skirt is interesting. Since the late 1920s traditional white-wedding dresses had tended to be long. Although the mid-calf length, or ‘ballerina’ dress became popular in the 1950s, it was quite unusual for dresses to be made shorter. The below-the-knee day-length hemline on this dress gives it a lightness and youthfulness which offsets the formality of the stiff, ribbed white satin fabric. Only a few years later, short, and even mini-length wedding dresses would become increasingly acceptable, although these have never entirely replaced the formal full-length gown which remains the most typical choice for weddings in the early 21st century.
Associated Object
T.49:3-2010 (Design)
Collection
Accession Number
T.49:1, 2-2010

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record createdSeptember 8, 2010
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