European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Object Focus

EFHA Focus: 1930s Bridal Style

1930swedding style

A wedding – both material and visual – memory from 1930s

The image portrays Fotini Sigara posing for a photograph minutes before her wedding to Konstantinos Polydoropoulos. The wedding took place at the Excelsior Hotel in Athens on February 21, 1930.

The dress is made of sheer, off-white satin and lace, worn with long bathing gloves and a string of pearls at the neck. The bride also wears quite a dramatic make-up and simple but tidy hairstyle. The actual dress is part of the collection of Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation, together with the photograph and an invitation for the wedding.

The dress speaks about the bridal style of those years. The style of the 1930s was characterised by bias-cut clothes in smooth fabrics that cringed to the silhouette and emphasised the curves of the female body. This was true also for wedding dresses, in Europe, but also in America where Hollywood provided a model for glamorous ensembles. 1930s bridal ensembles included gowns that were cream coloured, slim-fitting, long-sleeved, gowns, with long and wide trains and several embroideries or lace inserts.

The line of the dress in the picture is quite simple and clean; the train is very long and wide. The simplicity of dresses is challenged by the use of lace, organised in horizontal stripes on the bodice and widening the line of the skirt with vertical inserts.

Surely the most characterising feature of the dress is the cut: the dress hugged the wearer’s body, and the fit, accentuating the curvaceous female form, makes it a good material memory of the western bridal style of the 1930s.