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Wedding dress

Wedding dress

  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)

  • Date:

    1976 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940 (designer)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Elizabeth Emanuel

  • Museum number:

    T.9:1 to 5-2006

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The pleated ruffles and soft, fluid lines of this wedding dress epitomise the romantic designs of Zandra Rhodes. Her signature piece is the fabric, which she has hand-printed with a stylised floral design characteristic of many of her patterns.

She designed this dress for the fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel, who wore it when she married David Emanuel in 1976. (The Emanuels designed the fairytale wedding dress for Lady Diana Spencer when she married HRH Prince Charles in 1981.)

Zandra Rhodes is renowned for her romantic and lavishly embellished evening clothes. She trained as a textile designer and studied at the Royal College of Art, London, before setting up her own textile printing business. She soon realised that she was the best person to translate her textile designs into fashion and she set up her own business in 1968. In The Observer (9 October 1977) she was described as 'the most original and fearless of British designers, admired for her dedication to doing what she feels'.

Physical description

Yellow pleated dress decorated with applied leaves and flowers. It has a sash ending in a bow the ends of which are decorated with applied leaves and flowers. The underskirt is trimmed with a pleated ruffle. The separate cover protects the shoulders in storage and is decorated with silver angels, one on each side. The white padded hanger has a blue hook and is trimmed with ribbon and a silver horseshoe

Place of Origin

London (designed)

Date

1976 (designed)

Artist/maker

Rhodes, Zandra, born 1940 (designer)

Object history note

This dress was designed for Elizabeth Florence Weiner to wear for her marriage to David Emanuel in 1976. The Emanuels went on to become influential British couturiers during the late 1970s and 1980s, designing Princess Diana's famous wedding dress.

Descriptive line

Wedding dress; silk chiffon dress and satin sash with plastic flowers and leaves, net and lace trimmed petticoat, dress cover and hanger, designed by Zandra Rhodes, London, 1976.

Labels and date

Dress printed with waves and palms
Zandra Rhodes (b.1940)
London
1976

Romantic, feminine wedding dresses were popular in the 1970s. Many were influenced by historical styles, but Zandra Rhodes brought a strikingly modern aesthetic to her wedding dress for fashion student Elizabeth Weiner when she married David Emanuel. Five years later the couple won the coveted commission to design Lady Diana Spencer's wedding dress.

Hand-printed silk chiffon
Given and worn by Elizabeth Emanuel
V&A: T.9:1 to 3-2006 [2011]

Categories

Fashion; Marriage; Clothing; Textiles

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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