Something Old, Something New
Wonder Woman is a big deal when it comes to the feministic mind. While I think of super-heroines like Black Widow, Jean Gray (pre-Phoenix, of course), and Jennifer Garner in Alias, one of the first woman to really make an impact was Wonder Woman. I won’t delve too much into my nerddom, but I wanted to express the amazing differences (and in some cases, similarities) between wedding dresses of then and now.
On the left, you see Wonder Woman as first created. Her costume, while iconic, is totally ridiculous. How is anyone expected to fight crime in a tube top and underwear? Even Superman had tights to cover his legs. However, on the right, you see Wonder Woman’s upgrade of a modern day heroine. Well, at least in the costumer’s eyes. I’m not saying I’m crazy about the outfit, but at the very least, now she’s wearing some pants. Even her hair is a different style from the Amazonian, can’t-find-a-hairdresser, long locks of the past. But you can still see the ever-important flashy gear on her arms, waist and head. They managed to take this old look and keep spinning it in the updated version, which I think is important. While not outright copying the outfit, they still gave her a sense of modernity with an old suit. It’s the same with wedding dresses. We still have white wedding dresses, gloves, beading, and tiaras.
Today’s costumes are no different. While wedding dresses have always been around for the big day, the changes in style per era is HUGE. For the sake of of my research time, I found these dresses for the same year that Wonder Woman was created-1941. She also had a costume upgrade in 1960, so I’ve got a couple of those, too. But check out these below. While I’m sure these were incredibly popular styles in that day and age, I’m hardpressed to believe anyone in today’s fashion industry would wear something like this, no matter how much they love vintage. I can’t imagine myself in either of these dresses, either.
Ironic how both are so anti-skin showing, as opposed to Wonder Woman’s dangerously sexy costume, no? But I digress. Check out the long sleeves, the many buttons, even the hair is similar to one another with the pinned back curls and princessy veil.
The 1960s, however:
Slightly more skin, and if you were younger like around my age, probably some more free love, hippified, peace, love and drugs, type of reception. But even the woman on the right shows a little more skin around her arms and neck. While still dignified, the look is much different from the uprightness of the ’40s. The sleeves are lacy and loose, the veil not quite as long, and she’s incorporated gloves into the equation. It’s no wonder Mad Men can work so well with that era.
And then of course, we have today’s dresses. You can have beautiful ones like this one, which would still be quite a shock to the past eras, given its fit on her curves, the straplessness, and hairpiece instead of veil. Many dresses I saw were straight or ballgown, as opposed to this fitted mermaid piece.
And then there’s the classiest of the class, where my Nannie would absolutely die if she ever saw this in public, especially in a church (this one’s just for my own amusement. Clearly. She must have double sided duct tape). Wonder Woman would not approve:
Women from the 40’s and 60’s are more than likely scandalized by some wedding dresses today, whether it’s because they show too much skin, aren’t completely white, don’t have a cathedral-worthy train, or wear white gloves. It makes me wonder what Wonder Woman of the 40’s would tell her updated version of today. Besides, of course, warning her about the perils of saving the world one comic book at a time.
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