Romance on show at Te Papa

Silk faille wedding dress and silk net veil decorated with antique lace, John Galliano for Dior, Paris, 2002. Lent and worn by Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani for their wedding in London on 14 September 2002
Silk faille wedding dress and silk net veil decorated with antique lace, John Galliano for Dior, Paris, 2002. Lent and worn by Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani for their wedding in London on 14 September 2002
Wool suit, shirt and tie, Dior, Paris, 2002. Silk faille wedding dress and silk net veil decorated with antique lace, John Galliano for Dior, Paris, 2002. Lent and worn by Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani for their wedding in London on 14 September 2002
Wool suit, shirt and tie, Dior, Paris, 2002. Silk faille wedding dress and silk net veil decorated with antique lace, John Galliano for Dior, Paris, 2002. Lent and worn by Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani for their wedding in London on 14 September 2002
Wedding dress, ‘Qui a le droit?’, Christian Lacroix Couture, Paris, autumn/winter 1993-4. Silk satin, embellished with gold leaf, foil, beads, paste gems and chenille embroidery. Given by the designer.
Wedding dress, ‘Qui a le droit?’, Christian Lacroix Couture, Paris, autumn/winter 1993-4. Silk satin, embellished with gold leaf, foil, beads, paste gems and chenille embroidery. Given by the designer.
Wedding dress, ‘Qui a le droit?’, Christian Lacroix Couture, Paris, autumn/winter 1993-4. Silk satin, embellished with gold leaf, foil, beads, paste gems and chenille embroidery. Given by the designer.
Wedding dress, ‘Qui a le droit?’, Christian Lacroix Couture, Paris, autumn/winter 1993-4. Silk satin, embellished with gold leaf, foil, beads, paste gems and chenille embroidery. Given by the designer.
Nina Ricci lace peignoir, Paris, 2005 displayed with Dita Von Teese’s wedding corset which was custom made for her by Mr Pearl, Paris, 2005. The peignoir formed part of Von Teese’s trousseau. Lent by Dita Von Teese.
Nina Ricci lace peignoir, Paris, 2005 displayed with Dita Von Teese’s wedding corset which was custom made for her by Mr Pearl, Paris, 2005. The peignoir formed part of Von Teese’s trousseau. Lent by Dita Von Teese.
The dresses are unwrapped.
The dresses are unwrapped.
The dresses are unwrapped.
The dresses are unwrapped.
The dresses are unwrapped.
The dresses are unwrapped.

Media and special guests have seen the unwrapping of an extraordinary piece of fashion history at Te Papa.

Curator Keira Miller and her team were in the midst of setting up the Unveiled exhibition, which opens on Saturday December 17.

Unveiled showcases 200 years of wedding fashion from one of the world's most superb collections - that of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

In a Te Papa first, guests were allowed to watch as curators and conservators unpacked the famous Whigham wedding dress from its container.

The gown, worn by Margaret Whigham - the Duchess of Argyll who married Charles Sweeney and lived a scandalous and tragic life - in 1933 and made by Norman Hartnell (who also created the Queen's wedding and coronation dresses) features a three and a half-metre train and is made of silk and lace with pearl beading.

Other highlights of the exhibition include lavish gowns by some of the biggest names in international fashion, including Charles Worth, Norman Hartnell, Christian Lacroix and Vivienne Westwood, and the wedding gowns of Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani.

Also on show are special commissions by leading New Zealand designers WORLD, Lindah Lepou, and Jane Yeh.

Unveiled runs until April 22, 2012.

Stuff