ABSTRACT

In 1893, Princess Mary of Teck married the future George V wearing a wedding dress that was entirely designed, woven, and made in Britain. The silk was designed by Arthur Silver, the founder of the Silver Studio in Brook Green, Hammersmith, and woven by Warner & Sons in Spitalfields, London. Over the interceding century, the story of the design and manufacture of this patriotically produced royal wedding dress has been fractured across three institutions: the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture at Middlesex University (home to the Silver Studio Collection), the Warner Textile Archive, and the Royal Collection’s Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which is cared for by Historic Royal Palaces. This chapter draws on both design history and heritage methodologies to ask whether it would be possible to interpret the dress in a public exhibition setting as anything other than a part of ‘authorised heritage discourse’.