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Based on the iconic wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, this dress is composed of a mixture
of hand and machine-made features; as was the original dress, in celebration of the burgeoning British industrial revolution.
The ensemble features full undergarments; a matching corset and hip roll, covered in a thick padded petticoat for volume.
Intricate knife-pleats in the skirt complement the rounded waist, and the removable sleeves and flounce offer versatility to the bodice.
Finally, the bridal silhouette is trimmed with soft, delicate lacework and a garter of sumptuous blue velvet. A circlet of faux
orange blossoms adorn her head, and a trained veil grazes the floor. Jewels by Lovisa.
This lovingly-made replica is a sentimental favourite, owing not only to its aesthetic qualities, but to the story behind it.
In 1839, Queen Victoria and Albert, her groom to be, were thrust into an awkward position when parliament refused
to grant the German prince the title of King Consort, fearing yet another foreigner on the British throne.
This naturally affected the relationship between the young and deeply infatuated couple. Upon returning to London
from a state visit, Albert squabbled with Victoria, claiming that it was unseemly for the Queen of England to marry an ordinary man.
Victoria was powerless to make Albert anything more than an ordinary man. So, she resolved to make herself an ordinary woman.
When it debuted, Victoria's wedding dress was considered strangely simple, by the standards of the day. It was the dress of a
well-off middle class woman, rather than a great queen. But through this simple gesture, Victoria assured Albert that, to him,
she was not the Queen of England; she was simply Victoria, his wife. It is precisely this kind of tale that encapsulates my love
of historical costume. And through their most intimate possessions, history's most famous icons still survive.
"Dearest Albert" Royal Wedding Gown, c.1840
Gown with detachable bodice and sleeves - Champagne Dutch Satin, White Lace - December 2016