Stephens College Shows Wedding Dresses From Past Decades

Related Story

COLUMBIA- To celebrate Women's History Month, Stephens College is displaying wedding dresses from several decades throughout the 20th century.  The gowns' styles have significantly changed over the years from the 1930's with a very simple silhouette to more current trends with very elaborate patterns and long trains.

Monica McMurry, Curator of Stephens College Costume Museum Research Library, said many wedding dress styles begin with celebrities.

"Trends often reflect hopes and dreams of certain decades and periods so you'll see that dresses will be inspired by a specific woman in a wedding," McMurry said.

Owner of The Gown House, Leesa Morton, said Kate Middleton's dress style will most likely have a large effect on popular trends in the U.S.

"She's a huge icon and I think a lot of girls will adapt to that stlye, that trend that she's going with."

While celebrities and English royalty like Princess Diana have played a key role in fashion trends, wedding dress styles are often inspired from earlier decades.

"It's a return to elegance, old Hollywood, vintage, 1920's,1930's, with the vintage lace and the v-neck or sweetheart neckline."

During the 1920's decade, many dresses were simple and had puffy sleeves.  In the 1950's, lace became very popular.  1960's featured hippie-style dresses.  Many of the gowns during this decade were loose fitting and simple.  When Princess Diana got married in the 1980's, elaborate wedding dresses with beading and long trains became popular.

Future bride Kylene Richardson said this is the perfect time to be wedding dress shopping.

"The women at the store keep telling me this is a really great time to be looking for a dress because it's kinda a time when anything goes," Richardson said.