Synopses & Reviews
From the romance of its evolution to the splendor of its design, the wedding dress is unlike any other garment, a talisman from a fantasy world, the manifestation of dreams coming true. This book draws on wedding garments in the VandAand#8217;s renowned collection along with photographs, letters, memoirs, and newspaper accounts to explore the history of the white wedding dress and the traditions that have developed around it from 1700 to today, when designers from Vera Wang to Vivienne Westwood continue to challenge the aesthetic. Paintings, drawings, and wedding photos depict queens, princesses, celebrities, and everyday womenand#8212;including Kate Middletonand#8212;in their gowns. The text considers the dress in the context of the commercialization of weddings that began in the Victorian era. The Wedding Dress is not only about costume, but also about the cultivation of the image of the bride.
Rings are perhaps the most common and yet the most evocative pieces of jewelry. Worn as a sign of love or as a fashion accessory, to mark weddings, remember the dead, or show religious faith, the unbroken circleand#8212;a plain band or one that is elegantly adornedand#8212;holds a multitude of meanings for every wearer. From simple medieval hoops worn to ward off disease, to the glamorous rocks worn on the red carpet by Hollywood stars, to stunning works of art created by contemporary artist-jewelers, this book draws from the collections of the VandA to offer a beautifully illustrated introduction to rings.
About the Author
Rachel Church is a curator in the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics, and Glass Department of the VandA, with a special responsibility for rings. She has contributed to a number of exhibition catalogues and wrote about gold boxes in The Gilbert Collection at the VandA.