Love in Fine Fashion

A well-dressed love story

This exhibition features 30 gorgeous wedding dresses and accessories –shoes, bags, gloves, stockings, garters – all part of real-life love stories, dating from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition unfolds as a narrative about a romance in a contemporary setting designed by Richard Lacroix. The story is told in eight chapters through 63 popular French and English expressions such as “lever les voiles sur ses sentiments” or “she was a true gem,” which call attention to garments or their details. The oldest accessory is a hat from 1816. Designs by two great ladies of Montreal fashion, Marie-Paule Nolin and Gaby Bernier, will be shown along with a dress from 1984 by Serge et Réal. Nineteenth-century lace gowns, a 1970s crocheted mini-dress, gowns with trains or short dresses from the 1920s, in silk, satin, organza or bead-encrusted fabric – nothing was too beautiful to adorn the bride! The stories of several women who owned the dresses and accessories will also be part of the exhibition. With a few exceptions, all of the items come from the McCord Museum’s Costume and Textiles collection.

As always, nothing is too good for a bride on her wedding day, so visitors will see dresses of silk satin, taffeta, lace, tulle, faille and organza. In the 19th century, women often purchased the most beautiful dress of their lives for the occasion. After the wedding, they would alter it slightly to be able to wear it again, as did Bridget Delaney, a bride from 1872, who added a fuchsia chenille cord to her white dress. Furthermore, white was not the only colour option for wedding dresses. The exhibition will feature gowns of green, deep purple, pink, blue, white, yellow and even one in plaid.

Every item on display has borne witness to a true love story.

Wedding dresses are perhaps one of the most cherished articles of clothing. Brides save them as mementos of the occasion, while descendents treasure them as heirlooms. Along with their accessories, they tell the tale of a couple’s hopes and aspirations, and their lives together.

For more information: 514-398-7100

McCord Museum
690 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec  H3A 1E9