What sort of woman in the 1930’s would wear this dress
I think with the specific look I am wanting to achieve and with the references i keep finding, it is fair to say that the wedding would have taken place in the early 1930’s.
The bride with the quality of fabrics I hope to use and having it custom made would most likely be a Lady and would have been a socialite. The father would have most likely have been a Lord or Marquis of some description.
The wedding would have had the grandeur to that of Lady Helene Hay marriage to Mr Lionel Berry, who married in 1933. It was an exception affair where many in society turned out to celebrate the wedding, as well as the publics on lookers. I read her wedding article in the Herald newspaper of 1933 which was incredibly insightful.
Obviously the veil would not be new lace as I am making but would be usually lace that has been passed down through generations. I am really keen to incorporate waxed orange blossom onto the veil and will replicate the length of veil of the period, which would usually be chapel length. If I was looking to dress a Royal, I would certainly consider Cathedral length but by creating this template of ‘the ideal woman’, I can be much more specific in my research and make.
Nancy Beaton wore a lovely example of the style of wedding dress I am trying to recreate (see below) on her wedding day in 1933 to Sir Hugh Smiley.
Wedding day source: National Portrait Gallery
I am of the impression that the style and cut was very much the same in the early thirties for a lo of England’s society brides but I think the amount of embellishment on the dress was really left down to taste. This dress is heavily embellished where as I plan on having a panelled bias cut dress, perhaps with a sash around the waist and not much else. Bias cut dresses do not usually fasten, so this is not a decorative feature I will need to include.
The veil is wear a lot of the decoration will lie for my make, I plan on having a tulle veil which I hand sew panels of lace onto and then hand bead onto.
This will certainly be a make of repetitive and challenging work, involving a lot of hand sewing but I think if done correctly over the next term and summer, will be really lovely.