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Wedding ensemble

Wedding ensemble

  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)
    Thames Ditton (worn)

  • Date:

    early 1975 (made)
    9 August 1975 (worn)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen; satin, PVC, nylon

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Catharina Tinniswood

  • Museum number:

    T.32:1 to 4-2006

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Geoffrey Beene founded his New York fashion label in 1963, creating clothing renowned for its layered informality, clean lines and simple silhouettes. Beene became particularly known for his highly constructed, 'architectural' dresses but during the late 1960s he also turned to popular culture for inspiration and introduced touches of whimsy into his designs.

This wedding dress, accessorised with a Frank Olive hat with a soft brim and a pair of Herbert Levine shoes, was worn by Catharina Oeschger to marry Peter Tinniswood at St Nicholas' Church, Thames Ditton, on August 9 1975. Before her marriage, Catharina had worked as a model for Geoffrey Beene in the 1960s and 1970s. He designed and made the elegantly understated dress exclusively for her. As the day was extremely hot, Catharina changed into her dress behind the church organ so that its linen fabric would not be wrinkled for the ceremony.

Physical description

White linen dress with centre pleated bodice, long sleeves, round collar and waist tie. Buttons down front of bodice. Broad brimmed hat of white net with spray of white fabric flowers. Cream satin court shoes with nylon heal and PVC ankle straps.

Place of Origin

United States (made)
Thames Ditton (worn)

Date

early 1975 (made)
9 August 1975 (worn)

Materials and Techniques

Linen; satin, PVC, nylon

Object history note

This dress was personally designed and made by Geoffrey Beene for one of his house models, Catharina Oeschger. When Beene learned that she was getting married, he immediately offered to make her wedding dress, and she requested a gown that was "not a fluffy meringue". Catharina married Peter Tinniswood on 9th August 1975 at St Nicholas' Church in Thames Ditton, having flown out from New York via Iceland (where her intended bridesmaid (who unfortunately couldn't make it) and former house-mate lived). As it was a very hot day, she dressed behind the church organ so that the linen dress would not be wrinkled for the ceremony.

Descriptive line

Wedding ensemble, dress by Geoffrey Beene, Frank Clive hat and Beth Levine shoes, 1975, USA

Materials

Linen; Satin; PVC; Nylon

Categories

Fashion; Clothing; Marriage; Hats & headwear; Footwear

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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