The black wedding dress, yesterday and today
Paula 1208. Sábado 10 de septiembre de 2016.
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Last April, in Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, seven of the 21 designers who showed their collections for 2017 had at least a completely black wedding dress.One of them, the Indian designer Naeem Khan (58), who has dressed emblematic women of the fashion world like Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, showed her Havana dress, the same one with which he closed his presentation at the Bridal Fashion Week:a spectacular wedding suit with tight waist, long skirt and lace veil;All completely black.
In 2012, American fashion designer Vera Wang also did it: she included in her girlfriends some iconic pieces in black.In his following creations he added details in that tone and in the winter and spring collections of 2016 he again presented black wedding dresses.Christian Lacroix had done it before, in 1993.That year, in his spring-summer collection, he dazzled with a richly embroidered dark wedding dress;Dress that until today is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
But what can be read today as the genius or provocation of a designer, in the past was part of an accepted social protocol.At the end of the 19th and early twentieth century, many women married black, at the time when white was already the official color for the nuptials.This is confirmed in the historical photographs that are stored in the archives of Victoria and Albert Museum in London, of the Museum of the Madrid and National Museum of Scotland in Scotland in Scotland.Meanwhile, in Chile there are also documentary records: a dozen photos of girlfriends with black dresses in the National Historical Museum Archive;three photos and a dark marriage dress in the Fashion Museum;And a dress and some more photos at the Antonio Felmer Museum in Puerto Varas.They are black and white images, spent by the passage of time, but where women are still clearly seen, in a solemn gesture of the husband's arm, adorned with their black dresses, their veils, crowns and bouquets of flowers.
The sad brides
The black color was historically associated with austerity, death, even the demon.However, there are several reasons that led the brides, between 1880 and 1920, to dress black on the day of their marriage.The first was the mourning that forced the wardrobe to a black monochromatic, in addition to avoiding social life activity.
The mourning time depended on the relationship that had the dead man: the longest was for the spouse, then the parents, the grandparents, the brothers and the uncles came."The rule was especially severe for the widows, who had to dress in black forever, a rule that stopped running if they got married again; after marriage they could mourning," said Bergot, a doctor in history.Mourning was also gradual: in the first months clothes could not have a single detail of another color and the fabrics should be opaque.When a time passed - which could go from three months to two years - passed to half mourning and could start using other genres and colors rather neutral, such as the purple combined with white and gray.
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This dress is at the Antonio Felmer Museum in Puerto Varas and belonged to a German colona."The waist of the dress is an incredible thing, you cannot believe it is so small," says Pedro Felmer, owner of the museum.[/Caption]
At that time of the Salitrero Chile that faced the Pacific War, the opinion of others was very important and fashion was the main instrument to achieve it."Things in that period are meaning in the body and verbalized much less, so the costume rules were more rigorous: how much to cover your body, how much to show.It was essential to show that you were sorry because you lost someone close, "says historian Pía Montalva.The protocol of then said that if an unexpectedly girlfriend was died of a close relative, he had to postpone the marriage or marry a black dress in respect for the deceased relative.
The mourning marriage also ran for women in their second nuptials."If they got married for the second time, it was because the first husband had died, because then the divorce did not exist," explains Emilia Muller, Master in Fashion History.Death was something everyday at that time, so it was not uncommon for people to wear black and that use occurred more strongly in times of conflicts."In Chile, for example, there were more black girlfriends during the Pacific War years," says Francisca Riera, in charge of the Fashion Museum Documentation Center.
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In the fashion museum there are three photos of girlfriends with dark dresses and a black marriage dress.[/Caption]
Isolina Pitto Luppa dress
It is in the Fashion Museum and was used around 1906 by Isolina Pitto Luppa for their marriage.Verónica Fajardo donated in 2001, whose husband is the nephew of Isolina.It is black silk satin and has the body separated from the skirt, which has lace details and black silk tape, just like sleeves, which are wide to the elbow.Upon arrival, it was restored by replacing the damaged tapes with new ones, previously dyed, and then an alternative process was carried out to the ironing to stretch wrinkles without degrading the fabric.2007 was exhibited in the exhibition wearing time and today is in the museum wineries at a temperature of 20 degrees and 50% moisture, so as not to deteriorate the fibers.
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All the sources consulted agree that the great reference and the main influence on clothing during that time was Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (whose reign lasted from 1837 to 1901)."She was the icon of royalty, something like the Lady Di of the time, but her influence was greater because she did reigned," said historian Pía Montalva.The Queen was a reference in dressing: first imposed the target for the brides and then the black for mourning, who brought rigorly after the death of her husband Alberto de Saxony, who died in 1861, when she was 42 years old.Dressed in black for the rest of his life.
After Alberto's death there is a great expansion of the textile industry: fabrics, accessories and decorative elements are made, all in black, the color that the queen of mourning dressed."There is a lot.And he explains that black brides could not have existed without this fashion that the industry developed: "The Convention of Black Fashion and fashion were integrated," he says.
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Portrait of José Díaz and his wife María R.by Díaz, from 1907 (Archive of the National Historical Museum).[/Caption]
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Photo of 1889 that appears in the book portraits of women, published by the National Historical Museum (Museum Archive).[/Caption]
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Mrs. Magdalena b.and her husband Mr..Fuhrmann on the day of his marriage in 1885, photographed in Valparaíso (Archive of the National Historical Museum).[/Caption]
The most elegant dress
Mourning was not the only reason why a bride then dressed in black.There were also practical reasons.In the lower classes it had more to do with common sense than with symbolism: they married the best dress they had and that, many times, was black."Commonly the elegant dress they had was dark and used for different ceremonies, including funerals and marriage," explains fashion historian Emilia Muller.At that time there were few garments and used for different occasions.
It was the case of the German settlers who arrived in Puerto Varas between 1846 and 1875.Pedro Felmer, owner of the Antonio Felmer Museum of that city, says that when the Germans just settled in southern Chile, they married black because it was the most formal suit they had, because light -colored clothes were easily dirty."At that time, Puerto Varas was an island within the country.Chile reached Osorno and from there to Chiloé there was nothing;It was pure forest, "says Felmer.The museum received as a donation a black wedding dress that they have today, but of which they have little information.The same goes for the photos they have of some German colones dressed in black on the day of their marriage: little knows about them, except what is seen in the image.
The old girlfriends who used black suits in their marriages looked, however, light accessories, tulle veils and white details in the neck.In the boyfriend there is no change, because for the ceremony he used a black suit;Sometimes mourning forced them to put on a black ribbon on the arm, but in many photos, as the boyfriend has the jacket on, that detail is not appreciated.
With a S S -shaped silhouette, a wasp waist marked by the corset, a skirt and wide sleeves that are attenuated over time, the black wedding dress followed the same keys to the typical dress of the time of the time.The polizón was still used, which was later disappearing, and the neckline was used to the neck, since it symbolized a sacred union before God.I used to be made with opaque silk or taffeta.
The dark brides began to disappear by 1920, after that it is already difficult to find them.Towards the 60s fashion conventions became less strict, haute couture ceased to impose a limited norm with respect to the wedding dress."It is not so much the white dress that began to question, but rather the possibility of how to get dressed to get married," Pía Montalva says.
Regarding the trend that is seen today on the catwalks, where the black dress has reappeared, he says: "Today dressing up for marriage may seem an eccentric choice, motivated by the desire to differentiate.Because what communicates a black girlfriend is drama, an absent body, connotations that do not have much to do with a celebration ritual ".
The orange blossom
The flower that was associated with the brides was the orange blossom: the flower of the orange, lemon or citrus, which was used in the head, in crowns or garlands, or adorning the dress.For marriage they were made with wax and fabric, a very delicate job that was joining flowers and leaves around a gender -lined wire.Negro's girlfriends also used this ornament that contrasted with the dark color of the dress and made them more noticeable;Next to the veil, these flowers were a small wink of the woman's celebration.In the case of the brides who married in second nuptials, they could not use the orange blossom, because it is a symbol of purity, but used other flowers.Those of photography correspond to orange blossom accessories used by the girlfriends of the time and that are preserved in the textile department of the National Historical Museum.
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