Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London was officially opened this morning with a special wedding breakfast for 300 guests. Perhaps surprisingly for an exhibition from wintery London, guests were adorned with lei and fresh ‘ei (flower garland) on arrival and were drawn upstairs by a turou and the rythmic beats of Cook Island drumming. Romance, weddings and the Cook Islands, however, go hand in hand as anyone who has attended a beach wedding in the Cooks can testify. The Cook Island Tourism Corporation is one of Te Papa’s treasured partners in bringing this exhibition to New Zealand.
While the morning was grey outside, a Pacific warmth radiated inside. Like many weddings today, the opening was a meeting of family, friends and cultural traditions.
New Zealand designers, Lindah Lepou and Denise L’Estrange-Corbet from WORLD were among the guests. Both designers, along with Jane Yeh, were invited to make gowns for the New Zealand segment of the exhibition.
Now that the exhibition is open, we look forward to seeing you at Te Papa.