Silk and paper with silk embroidery
Overall: 118.1 x 179.7 cm (46 1/2 x 70 3/4 in.)
The Worcester R. Warner Collection 1918.550
This bride's robe was not made for one specific bride, but rather was shared and passed down to many brides.
This bride's robe is exquisitely embroidered with various symbols of happiness in colorful silk threads. Butterflies stand for marital happiness; the phoenix, numerous offspring; and lotus flowers and white cranes, longevity. Yet, the bridal gown does not attest to the life of luxury. To the contrary, many traces of repairs, trimmings, and patchwork reflect women’s commitment to value aesthetics of frugality and modesty in the Joseon period.
Substantial repairs and patching reveal that this gown served as an important communal resource to be shared and passed down through several generations. Its collar and sleeves are covered in thick white paper; this paper is replaced with new paper for each bride, while the robe itself was reused for decades.
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