fashion, wedding

fashion, wedding
   Weddings, with their lace, satin, tiaras and, especially, long white trailing gowns, traditionally symbolize the zenith of elegance and appearance for millions of women, yet historically only the elite wore white dresses. The wedding business grew in the 1950s, and despite the informal celebrity weddings since the 1960s and the fewer traditional church nuptials, vast amounts of money continued to be spent throughout the following decades in the ritual of tying the knot. The always changing face of fashion has had little effect on the style of wedding dresses. In the late 1990s, the majority of brides continued to opt for traditional white floorlength dresses with the essential veil. Men’s wedding attire in the 1990s showed signs of change with more adventurous styles and colours, but traditional morning dress or classic suit and tie continued to be very popular.
   The biggest style changes to emerge since the 1960s were in the areas of food, flowers, music and the venues. However, after the extravagant and boned wedding dresses of the 1950s, in the 1960s dresses became more simply designed and made in the latest fabric, nylon—which was later strongly rejected. The 1970s brought old-fashioned and homely designs, as epitomized by Laura Ashley. Generally speaking, natural fabrics, flowers and frills adorned everything and everyone.
   The 1980s continued the re-feminization of brides, predominantly influenced by the romantic fairy tale wedding of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles. Also, the boom years of the 1980s called for opulent dresses, extravagant hairstyles, big cars and elaborate receptions. The occasion became more significant than the wedding couple. Further, numerous people, principally women, formed bridal wear-related businesses. In the 1990s wedding fashions showed restraint and a simplicity which contrasted sharply with the 1980s. Although, brides generally wore white, much of the paraphernalia of previous decades was rejected without public humiliation.
   See also: marriage
   FATIMA FERNANDES

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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