This lilac satin dress from Te Papa’s collection was worn by Rosa Criscillo at her wedding to Antonino Moleta in Wellington on 5 May 1909. It is a dress that marked not only Rosa’s transition from a single woman to a wife, but heralded the beginning of a new life on the other side of theRead more

The Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand has just announced that its 2012 annual Symposium will be held in Nelson in late July. Hosted in conjunction with the Suter Art Gallery, Nelson, this event promises to deliver two days of entertaining speakers united by their enthusiasm for all things fabricRead more

Zandra Rhodes is the first fashion designer I became aware of as a child. I think I must have been 10 or 12 when I saw a picture of her in a magazine. I was captivated by her pink hair. I had never imagined that grown-ups could look like her. Certainly none of the mums inRead more

While in the mid-twentieth century many young women continued to pursue the dream of a white wedding, complete with a full-skirted Cinderella gown, Dawn ‘Velma’ Harris of Auckland was not amongst them. When she married James Turner on 27 May in 1961, she walked down the aisle of St AndrewsRead more

Many apologies for the lateness of this post. It was programmed to be published last Friday as I was fittingly in Dunedin for a wedding, but autopublish failed me! This week’s wedding dress provides the inspiration for Maureen Montgomery’s forthcoming Te Papa lecture on The World of Charles Frederick Worth –Read more

One of my most favourite fashion terms is passementerie. Its a French term that looks and sounds good, and which economically describes a luxurious array of frivolities used to adorn dress and interiors, including pom poms, bobbles, braid, ribbon, fringing, buttons, tassels and gimp. The English equivalent is the equally delightful ‘haberdashery’. Read more

Following the holiday period, Te Papa is getting into full swing for 2012. The lifts are crammed, the phones are ringing, emails are flying and meeting requests are flooding in.  Best of all, it also means that the 2012 Events Programme for Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London isRead more

Pleated silk wedding dress and coat, net veil decorated with silicone rubber, by Ian and Marcel, London, 1989. Bequeathed by Ian and Marcel. ©Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Images

This week’s ‘wedding dress of the week’ is an homage to classicism. Designed by Ian & Marcel this dress and coat is one of the most subtle yet rewarding ensembles included in Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Ian & Marcel was founded in 1979 by twoRead more

Parachute silk wedding dress, 1947. Collection of the Smithsonian - National Museum of American History. Gift of Claude E. and Ruth L. Hensinger.

This week’s wedding dress is a recent acquisition – one which caused much excitment amongst Te Papa’s History team when it arrived. Wholly romantic in design, this dress is made from a Second World War silk parachute. It was made for Carol Gifford by members of her family, for her marriage toRead more

Detail of the back darts and seams.

Wedding dress by Charles James for Baba Beaton, 1934 The Parisian fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet (1876 – 1975) is credited with having invented the bias cut. She commented: ‘Maybe because everyone else made dresses that flowed in the same direction, I saw that if I turned the fabric on an angle… it gained elasticity’.Read more

Beaded lace wedding dress and train designed by Aida Woolf, London, 1914. Worn by Phyllis Blaiberg for her marriage to Bertie Mayer Stone at the Bayswater Synagogue, London on 9 September 1914. Gift of Mrs B. Rackow

A Christmas Wedding This silk chiffon and satin dress was worn by Lucy Eleanor (Lulu) Cracroft of Hataitai when she wed James Meade Ferguson at St Mark’s Church in Wellington just after Christmas on 29 December, 1914. While the dress is machine sewn, it features a significant amount of hand detailing and finishing,Read more