Status Symbols in Eastern and Western Culture
In Western culture, white wedding dresses gained popularity since Queen Victoria was married in white in the 19th century. In contrast, Eastern culture chooses Red as the preferred colour for their wedding dress attire. Red is believed to symbolize good fortune, prosperity and future success to the couple getting married.
Traditionally, wedding dresses were made to symbolize wealth and social status of the family being married. The bride was representing a larger group of individuals beyond herself. Marriage was often driven by political influence and more broadly, consisted of the marriage of countries, businesses and people.
Brides from wealthy families were often clothed in the richest fabrics money could buy. Wedding dresses were meticulously constructed from French silks, natural furs and the finest European velvets that were available on the market. Historically, brides dressed in the height of current fashion trends. The materials chosen were visual cues used to illustrate status to other families. Poor brides often wore their best church dress on their wedding day.
Real vs. Fake
Today, we still see the trend of luxurious materials being used to construct wedding dresses, but if we take more care in breaking down the trend we begin to notice that cheap, mass-produced embellished fabrics are used to capture the appearance of wealth using fake, plastic jewels which give the sparkle but cost much less. It’s fascinating that mass-produced objects aim to capture a look but only ever so superficially.
White wedding dresses have often been considered to represent virginity and purity, though this was not the original intention as we have learned from Queen Victoria. Today we still see white as the typical colour chosen for the majority of wedding dresses and bridal occasions, with variations of Ivory, Shell and Cream. More recently we are seeing an under-current of very soft Pastel Pink wedding dresses also coming onto the fashion scene, so pretty.
Sculpted and Embellished Wedding Dresses
Wedding dress silhouettes have also changed over centuries from exuberant fuller gowns to slick, ankle length designs in the 60’s and recently the trend has reverted back to fuller skirts again and strapless bodices. As we all know so well, trends keep cycling back into fashion, so it’s probably not too long until we see the 60’s back again.
Interestingly; Wikipedia states that Strapless bodices are mainly used for wedding dresses as they are easier to ‘make’ and ‘fit’ for designers. Our experience tells us the contrary – strapless bodices rely on the same rules of fitting (in particular through the bust) and require fabric reinforcement to stay firm on the body, so it is questionable whether they are infact ‘easier’ to make, it’s taken us years to perfect the shaping and proportions on our strapless bodice. Sleeved and stringed bodices are also becoming more common in our modern environment and some women are choosing stream-lined alternatives without added embellishment for a simple, easy-to-wear option.
Evolution from Context
House of Ezis wedding dresses have gradually evolved from our formal wear collections that have been developed over the past 8 years. Youthful, simple and flattering to the female form; our focus has always been on experimenting with shapes, lines and tailoring methods to achieve the perfect proportions which flatter the female form. House of Ezis started the backless formal wear trend for women in Australia and we can see this influence starting to trickle through to our bridal clients. Our wedding dresses blur the boundaries of what is typically worn as a wedding dress, opting for current alternatives that suit the Australian climate and mood. House of Ezis gowns cross-over between special occasions, offering a unique alternative to the mass-produced currently on offer. Our focus is to produce spectacular, sculptural special occasion dresses which look and feel amazing on the body.