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The V&A Celebrates History's Most Beautiful Wedding Dresses

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Did you know that Queen Victoria is credited with the whole white wedding dress trend? Before her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840 women would wear the best dress hanging in their closet. But once the young Queen chose white it became the color for brides. So it's only fitting that the Victoria and Albert Museum in London would have a retrospective on the traditional white dress.

Wedding Dresses 1755 - 2014, which is open now through March 15, 2015, features some of the world's most beautiful wedding gowns, designed by the biggest names in fashion design.

With a mix of stunning 18th and 19th century pieces on display, along with 20th and 21st century designs, visitors will get an up-close look at wedding dresses designed for British society, celebrity and royal brides by Norman Hartnell, Charles James (who's having his own retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer), Charles Frederick Worth, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Jenny Packham and Vera Wang.

Take a look through this gallery for a sneak peek of what's on display, and if you can't make it across the pond to see these timeless looks with your own eyes, The Wedding Dresses book is available at V&A's online shop.

  • 18th Century Court Dress
    Silk Satin Court dress, British, 1775-80

    (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Norman Hartnell
    Embroidered silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell, 1933

    Given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll © Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
  • Charles James
    Silk satin wedding dress designed by Charles James, London, 1934

    Given by Mrs Alec Hambro © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Isobel
    Silk and lace wedding dress designed by Isobel, London, 1953

    Courtesy of Mr and Mrs Gordon Hodson © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Gwen Stefani's John Galliano Gown
    Gwen Stefani's wedding dress designed by John Galliano for Dior, 2002

    (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH The Prince of Wales
    Embroidered silk coat and silk dress designed by Anna Valentine, feather headdress created by Philip Treacy, 2005. Worn by The Duchess of Cornwall for the blessing after her marriage to HRH The Prince of Wales.

    Photograph by Hugo Burnand
  • Dita von Teese's Vivienne Westwood Gown
    Bird of Paradise dress in changeant silk grosgrain by Vivienne Westwood. Grosgrain, velvet and mink tricorne by Stephen Jones. Exclusively Designed for Dita von Teese 2005.

    (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Kate Moss' John Galliano Gown
    Kate Moss's wedding dress and veil designed by John Galliano, 2011. Worn for her marriage to Jamie Hince. Silk chiffon, silk georgette and silk tulle, hand-embroidered with sequins and pearls.

    (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Temperley Bridal
    Temperley Bridal, ‘jean’ wedding dress 2014.

    Photograph by Julian Marshal
  • Jenny Packham
    Jenny Packham spring summer 2014

    Courtesy of Jenny Packham