This weekend I had a love-ly time!
That’s right! LOVE-ly! I went to visit the exhibition “Love, Desire and Riches” at Ripponlea Estate in Melbourne, Australia.
This exhibition consisted of a collection of wedding dresses and wedding memorabilia, ranging from Victorian times through to contemporary dresses, and also included many wedding costumes used in films of classic literature.
The photos I took were mostly of the extant garments, but it was interesting to see the wedding dresses from popular movies, such as that of Emma Woodhouse, played by Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma (1996), and Marianne Dashwood, played by Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility (1995). There were also garments used in the filming of Twelfth Night, Madame Bovary, and Great Expectations, among others.
There was a room dedicated to the seductiveness of wedding lingerie, but also detailing the rather long list of items required for a bride’s trousseau. A trousseau not only included basic undergarments for the new wife (of the Victorian era, in this case), such as chemises, petticoats, corsets, dressing gowns, drawers and stockings, but also included items for the expected arrival of new babies. A trousseau rarely included expensive outer garments, but were merely a way of ensuring that a new bride could begin life with an entire “set” of “essential” undergarments for her new station in life.
I was excited to discover a copy of The Queen, The Lady’s Newspaper in one of the rooms. This publication had been the result of a merge between two magazines, The Queen and The Lady’s Magazine, in 1863. During the 1870’s and 1880’s, publications for ladies began developing that skill of advertising that we see so prevalently today!
As part of the exhibition, the rather-famous and rather-large statue of Mr Darcy is also residing in the lake at Ripponlea Estate.
The grounds of the estate were particularly nice to wander around in, especially on such a lovely sunny day. A coffee and lunch in the pop-up cafe made the day complete! This exhibition is advertised to run until the end of September, so be sure to rush in quickly and get your photo taken with Mr Darcy!
In a few more weeks I will be visiting another exhibition in Bendigo, Australia, “Undressed” on the fashions of underwear through history. Keep an eye out for the upcoming post!
Sources and Relevant Links
Ripponlea Estate, Melbourne, Australia.
Love, Desire and Riches Exhibition, National Trust of Australia