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Bead and Crystal Embroidered Traditional Wedding Dresses From Around the World | Royal Wedding Dresses from the Past


One of the last wonderful Great Big Story videos created before its demise was this one about what wedding dresses around the world looked like

"Great Big Story senior producer Beryl Shereshewsky talks to seven dressmakers in seven countries to learn about the special dresses they make for brides in their communities." 

All but the one white dress were colorful affairs. The designers showcase their talents, craftsmanship, tradition and a lot of love for their respective cultures. 

Most of the dresses were bead, crystal and charm embellished.  One exception was the handwoven kente dress of Ghana.  Some of the featured countries like India and Indonesia have distinct state or regional differences so the wedding dress styles can vary from place to place within those countries and are strictly not national styles. 

The designers also put their own interpretations on traditional wedding wear. An Indian viewer remarked that the traditional lehengas are much more elaborate like the one which the presenter wore at her own wedding.  Most Swedish brides also wear Western style bridal gowns rather than the folk vanga wedding dress shown. 

A Ghanian viewer explained that Ghanian brides typically wear a lot of gold, jewelry and traditional beaded work. She added, "What was shown here is an attire most Ghanaian women would rather wear to church."

Still, the designs were a treat to see. My favorite is the Native American southern Cheyenne buckskin dress from Oklahoma complete with the matching mask!
 


Wedding dresses are super special gowns designed to make the bride a queen for the day. In the case of Queen Victoria, she was already queen so her dress had to be a standout.


Queen Victoria wore a white dress when she married Prince Albert in 1840.  Before then, wedding dresses were of any color the bride chose. She was not the first royal bride to choose white but she definitely started the tradition which has lasted to this day. 


Her attendants were also dressed in white. The combined result made a sharp contrast with the richly colored dresses and military uniforms of the guests as well as the opulent Chapel Royal of St James Palace.



The 1847 portrait - an anniversary gift for Prince Albert - below gives us a closer look at her wedding dress complete with her jewelry accessories.  The large sapphire and diamond brooch - now in the Royal Collection - she wore was a gift from Prince Albert, presented to her the day before their wedding. She wore it often until his death. 



Fast forward 141 years, another royal bride wore another iconic dress who would tragically never become queen.  Netflix's sumptuous production, The Crown, recreated - with artistic license -  Princess Diana's memorable and voluminous wedding dress. Check out this video which shows Amy Roberts' costume designs for Season 3 and Season 4


[The Crown is a beautifully crafted production with an excellent cast especially Gillian Anderson who got Maggie Thatcher's voice and forward tilted gait to a t.  While the plot is driven by real life events like the Aberfan disaster, British political crises, the assassination of Lord Mountbatten and The Falklands War, it is at its heart, a historical dramatization by a very creative scriptwriter, Peter Morgan. It is entertainment, a historical fiction- not a historical documentary.]


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

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7 comments:

  1. I was so sorry to see Great Big Story come to an end. I think we've watched every episode they've put out. Such a shame.

    I've yet to watch the next season of The Crown but have enjoyed it very much so far. Again - not a documentary - but entertainment - and it excels at that.

    And lastly - I love looking at wedding dresses and accessories. When I was a little girl I had a huge wedding magazine that I kept for years to look at. I often wonder what happened to it once I left home.

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    1. I just finished and enjoyed Season 4 of The Crown - a superb production with an exemplary cast. This season is more vivid to me as I was still living in the UK for half of the 1980's and remember the Royal Wedding, Maggie Thatcher on the news etc.

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  2. wedding dresses are always fascinating to look at, especially when you can learn the reason or history behind the dress.
    I loved the first 3 seasons of The Crown (I felt slightly voyeuristic watching) and I'm looking forward to season 4.

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  3. This video is fabulous and I think I need to watch it with full concentration to really grasp everything. So Thank you for sharing it. Yes, you are right many of these items may not be the "National dress." Atleast in India, beadwork is not traditionally done on clothing in the South and East. In the East beaded jewellery is a part of wedding rituals. But in the South apart from gold beads, corals or a few black glass beads, beads are not a part of weddings (traditionally). However, at the present many brides get bead embroidery done on their blouses for a richer look.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge about Indian wedding attire especially on the regional differences. Enjoy the video.

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  4. This was fascinating. I have made three wedding dresses and believe me, they were not as detailed as these. Thanks for sharing!

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