Wedding Dress

early 1938 (made), 18 June 1938 (worn)
Wedding Dress thumbnail 1
Wedding Dress thumbnail 2
+5
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This fashionable red silk gauze dress was a bold choice for a wedding. It was worn by Monica Maurice (1908-1995) for a quiet marriage to Dr.Arthur Newton Jackson (1904-1985) at the Chapel of Our Lady on Rotheram Bridge in South Yorkshire on 18 June 1938. Monica was an independent and unconventional woman who in 1938 become the first – and until 1978 only – woman member of the Association of Mining Electrical Engineers. In addition to her passions for racing cars and flying, she loved to wear striking and stylish clothes. For her wedding she chose a feminine day dress in her favourite colour, a rich ruby red. The sheer dress was worn with a matching artificial silk slip and contrasting deep blue silk belt. She wore a floral wreath with a shoulder-length veil. Although her headdress has not survived and is only visible in black-and-white family photographs, her veil seems to have been either red or blue to match the dress.

For the bride conditioned to think in terms of a traditional Western white-wedding, red is one of the most daring alternative colours. However, in many non-Western cultures, red is traditional for wedding garments. It is often worn by Hindu and Muslim brides, and for Chinese and Vietnamese brides the colour represents good luck.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Dress
  • Petticoat
  • Belt
Materials and Techniques
silk gauze over artificial silk, petersham
Brief Description
Wedding dress, red silk gauze, 1938, British; Red silk gauze, blue buttons
Physical Description
Red silk gauze dress with shirt-waist bodice, button front and short puffed sleeves, mid-calf skirt. Deep blue petersham belt to match the blue glass buttons on the bodice; reversing to red. Slip of red artificial silk
Gallery Label
Red wedding dress Britain 1938 Red is an unusual choice for a wedding dress in Britain. Monica Maurice's dress, worn for her wedding to Arthur Jackson in 1938, reflected her pleasure in the colour and her independence. She travelled as an electrical engineer with the Wolf Safety Lamp Company, visiting Germany regularly in the 1930s. Silk gauze, with artificial silk slip and petersham belt Worn by Miss Monica Maurice and given by her family V&A: T.716:1 to 3-1995(2011)
Credit line
Worn by Miss Monica Maurice and given by her family
Object history
Worn by Miss Helen Monica Maurice OBE (30 June 1908-20 September 1995) for her marriage to Dr. Arthur Newton Jackson (1904-1985) on 18 June 1938 at the Chapel of Our Lady on Rotherham Bridge. The reception was held at Park Grange, Sheffield.



Registered File number 1995/2065.
Summary
This fashionable red silk gauze dress was a bold choice for a wedding. It was worn by Monica Maurice (1908-1995) for a quiet marriage to Dr.Arthur Newton Jackson (1904-1985) at the Chapel of Our Lady on Rotheram Bridge in South Yorkshire on 18 June 1938. Monica was an independent and unconventional woman who in 1938 become the first – and until 1978 only – woman member of the Association of Mining Electrical Engineers. In addition to her passions for racing cars and flying, she loved to wear striking and stylish clothes. For her wedding she chose a feminine day dress in her favourite colour, a rich ruby red. The sheer dress was worn with a matching artificial silk slip and contrasting deep blue silk belt. She wore a floral wreath with a shoulder-length veil. Although her headdress has not survived and is only visible in black-and-white family photographs, her veil seems to have been either red or blue to match the dress.



For the bride conditioned to think in terms of a traditional Western white-wedding, red is one of the most daring alternative colours. However, in many non-Western cultures, red is traditional for wedding garments. It is often worn by Hindu and Muslim brides, and for Chinese and Vietnamese brides the colour represents good luck.
Collection
Accession Number
T.716:1 to 3-1995

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record createdJune 17, 2009
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