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Brides today have choices upon choices: They can decide to wear white dresses or colorful prints, show off skin or take a more modest route, embrace their rockabilly look or sport cutting-edge styles. This wasn’t always the case, though.
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For decades, social norms dictated what a woman could wear on her wedding day. A retrospective titled “American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity” in Denton, Texas, takes a look at the many facets of fashion available to ladies as early as 1844. The exhibition at the Greater Denton Arts Council’s Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts presents fashion lovers with more than 40 wedding gowns from the mid-19th century through today.
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“American Brides” delves into the evolving styles of the wedding gown. Dresses became notably shorter with time, especially around the 1920s, when flappers were fighting for feminine freedom. These intricately beaded gowns were often complemented by wax blossom crowns.
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Of course, history has a tendency to repeat itself, and many styles of gowns also reemerged with time. The prairie-like gowns of the 1970s reflect on those of the 1800s. Puffed sleeves in the 1980s recall the same volume popular in the 1890s. And, surprisingly, not every dress from the past was white. Women would often don their finest outfit for their wedding day, which sometimes entailed a splash of color.
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Exhibition items are from the University of North Texas’ Texas Fashion Collection, as well as private collections. In the comments, tell us, which decade of wedding fashion is your favorite?