Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vintage Dresses...Antique Belts

We went to the wonderful Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin and I thought I'd share two beautiful dresses that I saw there-the one above from the 1920s has beautiful beading on the sheer overdress (a notch up from the simple black dress!) and the one below from the later 19th century has simply the most amazing beading and pearls and check out the ribbon rose! (We also saw wonderful Art Nouveau glass there (Tiffany and Lalique and others) but it didn't photograph well at all.)

We went to services Friday night at the Neue Synogogue (1859) and then back on Sunday to see the little museum but unfortunately they didn't allow photos-the front part of the building survived the war although it needed some repairs and so you can see the wonderful dome and inside the beautiful wall paintings. (The building was protected by the local police chief and wasn't touched on Kristalnacht (Nov. 9, 1938) when synagogues were burnt down by the Nazis all over Germany.)

We also went to the Jewish Museum, a wonderful history museum, which had some embroideries but I wanted to share these very interesting wedding belts. Now this is a tradition that I knew nothing about. Apparently in the Middle Ages, it was the custom for the bride to wear a beautiful jeweled belt...

and for the groom to wear a simpler one (still pretty fancy!) I found this fascinating...did they have to buy these belts? That is a much bigger outlay than a pair of wedding rings!, did the community provide them-sort of lend them out-or did the couples rent them like Israeli brides rent their wedding dresses?
(Israeli wedding dress rental is something I just don't get-you can pay as much as $2000 to rent a wedding gown with fittings and everything so the dress fits perfectly but then after the wedding, you return the dress to the shop! Now, what does the shop do with that dress??? wait for someone with the exact same shape or smaller (shorter... thinner...) so they can alter the dress down to size? Totally incomprehensible to me!)
We're off to Bad Homburg (near Frankfurt) and then home!


Barb said...

Those dresses are absoutely gorgeous....!!

The Calico Cat said...

Not in Israel (I have no idea what my SIL in Israel did...) but in Oklahoma, i know a gal who also rented her gown. It was a size 16, she was a size 2 - serious! The taking in was all basting - they took out the basting afterwards, so that a larger gal could rent the same dress.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

those dresses and belts are so beautiful!! I heard once or maybe I read it someplace that dresses from the 1920's with all the bead work sometimes weighed as much as 10 to 20 pounds! can you imagine carry that on you all day? They are so pretty though. I'm glad you are getting to see so much history while you are in Germany it would be so interesting to see.

Julia said...

Those dresses are absoutely gorgeous, Miri
Amazing that they can alter a dress so many times to fit the ladies...very interesting!
Julia ♥

Susan said...

The belts are beautiful too. Amazing how that one synogogue was spared. All this history preserved. And wedding gown rental--unbelievable.

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

What beautiful dresses! Women have always done what they could to make themselves beautiful, haven't they? And the wedding belts are a new one to me, too. Interesting.

Micki said...

I love those dresses, esp, the pink one.Thanks for sharing!

Threeundertwo said...

Wow. Women must have carried themselves so delicately in those dresses. I imagine one false move and you'd lose a few beads.

The belts are so interesting and beautiful. I wonder if they were family heirlooms, like Greek wedding crowns.