Introduction of Wedding Gown Fashion

A Bridal Gown is something that a bride wore during a wedding ceremony. Colour and style are dependent on individual culture. In Western cultures, brides often choose a white Bridal Gown, which was made popular by Queen Victoria in the 19th century.   For Asian (Eastern cultures), brides often choose a brighter colour to symbolize auspiciousness.  Chinese have the red wedding dress with phoenix crown, Indian have the wedding sari, Vietnam have the red ao dai, Japanese has the wedding kimono, etc. 

Born in a metropolitan country like Singapore, we are bliss to enjoy the best of both Eastern and Western culture.  Brides in Singapore commonly wear the Western white bridal gown during a church wedding or evening walk-in during the wedding banquet while wearing the traditional red bridal gown for the traditional tea ceremony.

At the beginning of bridal gown history, bridal gowns were not representing only for the brides, themselves during the ceremony, but also the wealthiest of families.  Hence, often wearing rich colours and exclusive fabrics was a reflection of the bride's social standing.  In this new era, Luna Bianca Bridal Boutique believes that the bridal gown is representative of the bride's personality and that each bride should be bold to be herself and express herself through the bridal gown she wears on that very special day.

One of the first few documented records stated that in 1560, Mary, Queen of Scots, wore a white wedding gown because white was her favourite colour.  However, white was not a widespread trend, back then bride was married in any colour, and even black colour being especially popular in Scandinavia.

In 1840, when Queen Victoria wore a white satin and lace bridal gown portraying a fairy-tale image, ever since, the white bridal gown became the first choice of Western brides, today - “Being a princess for that special day.”

Although it was not the original intention, today, many assume the colour white was intended to symbolize virginity.  The bridal gowns are usually white or “off-white” including shades such as “ivory”, “seashell” (very pale pinkish tones), and “old lace” (very pale yellowish orange) to darker shades like “ecru” (light grayish-yellowish brown).

Let’s take a moment to commemorate the fashion world of bridal gowns (Photo abstracted from “100 Years of Fashion: Wedding Dresses” – from Youtube) and its history.


Ivory white bridal gown, with silver print.  Cleverly use a layer of lace is used to cover her neck, shoulders, back, and cleavage.  Matching the more “conservative” year, yet revealing the sensual part of the woman.

Interestingly, it is a short sleeve bridal gown but the forearms is covered up with long white gloves, and only the upper arm is exposed.

The veil is long that reached below waist length. It is simply placed over the head with a laced edge.  This is a fashionable style that is occasion worn by model brides of today.

1915 Dress

1915 Dress

1915 Veil


After a decade, brides become more daring and lose the layer of lace that covers the neck, hence uncovering and fully exhibiting the neck, shoulder, and forearm.  However, the front portion of the bridal gown cutting remains moderately high not showing too much cleavage.

A Pearl necklace is used to lift up the simpler-looking top portion of the bridal gown to a more classy and elegant feel.  The bridal gown also shrinks, it becomes short, touching the mid-length of the calf.  A layer of lace is displayed on the lower part of the bridal gown.

Long white hand gloves remain popular while accessories are added to the veil.  In this case, pearl to match the necklace.

1925 Dress

1925 Veil


In the 1930s, lace has to be a central attraction for bridal gowns and the brides were pampered by a full lace bridal gown covering from top to tail.  The bridal gown is a combination of a very simple satin sleeveless gown, a long straight dress with a lace garment covering the whole body from shoulders to toe except the hands

Tiara was also introduced to give a more princess feel. The veil remains long, but losses its lace edge to give the contract between the laced gown and the veil. 

Noticed that the hand bouquet has reduced in size, which is adapted till today.

1935 Dress

1935 Veil


From a heavily designed laced bridal gown, it went to the other extreme end, where the lace has been removed from the gown totally, leaving a simple plain satin bridal gown.  Perhaps such a trend was influenced by the difficult time during the world wars years when fine luxury materials are scarce.   

It has a “Queen Anne” neckline, where a collar gets up in the back of the neck and the shoulders are covered.  The sleeves are slightly puffed. 

The tiara was replaced by an elegant design hair band. This lace-less design has continued to inspire modern designers.

1945 Dress

1945 Veil


1955 returns of the full lace!  This design has a sleeveless satin bridal gown as the inner layer and a full outer lace layer with a sweet big ribbon at the back of the bridal gown.

Petticoat was worn to give a desired fashionable shape, hence there is more volume on the lower portion of the bridal gown instead of a straight shape (“Sheath” silhouettes)

The veil remains the same, with an elegant white band to hold the veil.

1955 Dress

1955 Veil


From French lace which is not decorated with accessories, this decade designers started to use Italian lace, the main difference between French and Italian lace is that Italian lace explores the beauty of lace embroidered with beads and other accessories.

The back of the lower portion of the bridal gown is more elaborated.  The skirt had the “bubble” with “tiered”.

Although Tiffany & Co. has been established in the 1830s, American fashion and trends had been influenced by Tiffany’s design.  A ribbon as a headdress to pin down the veil was very typical of Tiffany fashion back then.

1965 Dress

1965 Veil


This is a fun (hippies) era and also some kind of fashion revolution occurred in the 1970s.  Instead of skill or satin, the choice of material (fabric) used is either polyester or cotton.

The overall design of the bridal gown is more of a “medieval” theme.  Uniquely to this decade.

The trend dropped the long traditional veil and wear a wreath instead.  This hippy trend also removed the elegant pearl necklaces and replaced them with a cotton lace chokers necklace.

1975 Dress

1975 Veil


1980 is the year of funky and disco. The bride usually had very strong makeup.

In the bridal gown design, the most distinct feature was the over-exaggerated and loud shoulder pad. Such shoulder pad (sleeves) design is also known as “petal” or “lapped sleeve”.  The bridal gown lace is heavily decorated with beads.  The bridal gown was designed with a “tunic” top and a long second layer that “sweeps” at the back.

1985 Dress

1985 Veil


Similar to the 1940s, this decade, lace was dropped again.  It went back to the “simple” look.  

It has a bateau neckline design, displaying a plain bare neck and shoulder.  The shirt is “court” length (slightly longer than “sweep” length).  Brides wear a petticoat or more fabric layers are added to the lower half of the bridal gown to give slightly more volume forming an “A-line” silhouette.

1995 Dress

1995 Veil


As the fashion trend crossed the millennium, the “simple” look managed to hold on.  

The neckline design has changed to “sweetheart” showcasing the coverage of the cleavage.  The necklace is worn to give an overall classier look. The bridal gown has a “Sheath” silhouette, instead of an “A-line”.   The back of the bridal gown has “Fanback or Fishtail” to separate the gown from the usual evening gown.

2005 Dress

2005 Veil


After being absent from demand, lace is slowly coming back and the trend seems to head toward French lace with no accessories embroidered on the lace.  It maintains the “simple” look, however with the lace added, the bridal gown gives a more sophisticated, premier, and luxurious.     

The neckline design is a deep “V-neck” with voile in between.  A gorgeous belt and sash complete the perfect touch to the bridal gown.  The back of the bridal gown kept the trend of the “Fanback or Fishtail”.

It is amazing to see how the trend changes throughout the 20th century.  The bridal gown has become a fashion statement that very much reflects that particular era.  Today, bridal gown fashion and trends continue to evolve.  In 2015 and 2016, there is a trend where actresses and singers are choosing to tie the knot, by wearing other bright colours instead of white. Renounced designers like Vera Wang recently debuted non-white bridal gown collections.  Luna Bianca - Italian collections also have their fair share of non-white bridal gowns. 

2015 Dress

2015 Veil

Helen Wang

Luna Bianca Bridal Boutique (since 1990)

This article is inspired and abstracted from a Youtube clip by Glam, Inc.