An exhibition of wedding dress design through the decades.
The exhibition juxtaposes handmade, homemade, borrowed, and rejuvenated gowns from past decades with the work of fashion designers, Norman Hartnell and Bruce Oldfield. Their designs are reflected in several gowns, some being copies of the most well-known royal wedding gowns and tiaras, including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
Other gowns have been donated or loaned by high profile figures or bridal salons. These include two gowns worn by the daughters of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland (on loan by Her Grace’s kind permission); local celebrity and Dragon’s Den star, Sara Davies’ wedding dress; a gown donated by Kleinfeld, New York – known for the TV programme Say Yes to the Dress; and a 1923 winter velvet wedding gown, handmade by Coco Chanel for a family friend.
For enthusiasts of Downton Abbey, there is a copy of the Crawleys’ Downton Tiara displayed with a wedding gown worn in Northumberland in 1898.
A Century of Wedding Gowns is a free exhibition. A small part of the exhibition that features some of the aforementioned dresses has a suggested donation of £5 per person.
Photo by Joseph Priestley, from A Century of Wedding Gowns at Ripon Cathedral.