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Friday, 1 August 2014

A Duchess and her wedding dress

I love it when an artefact inspires you to find out about a person.

This recently happened to me, after visiting the Wedding dress exhibition of 1775-2014 at the V&A. Obsessed to know more about the woman behind the most gorgeous wedding dress I think I've ever seen (and I've seen Kate Middelton's!), I purchased her autobiography, Forget Not, published in 1975. 

1 December 1912 – 25 July 1993


She started life as Margaret Whigham, a young British debutante from the 1930's, who featured daily in the newspapers as one of the most exciting and beautiful women of her times.

I've loved reading about her life; she was a well travelled woman, with many highs and lows to life.  Even though I know not all was true in her book, I could sympathies with some of the poor treatment she got as a wife, which was quite typical of her generation and class.  

She was once quoted saying "Always a poodle, only a poodle! That, and three strands of pearls!" she said. "Together they are absolutely the essential things in life."  Loving my little Bichonpoo, I couldn't agree more!!



Image from the V&A website
Silk satin wedding dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, 1933, given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. 

The dress that takes centre stage at the exhibition, is from her first marriage to Charles Sweeney, but she is most popularly known for marrying (and publicly divorcing) Ian Campbell, the 11th Duke of Argyll.

Go see the exhibition, it's simply fabulous, it includes dresses from Kate Moss, Gwen Stefani and Dita Von Teese's dress by Vivenne Westwood, which are all to die for!

The exhibition is on at the V&A until 15th March 2015