White Dress

Artist Feature of Oksana Veniaminova

Marriage is one of the greatest concerns for many women of different ages in my country. Popular belief endows the wedding gown with mystical power, preserving a happy and everlasting marriage. Therefore, tradition dictates that the gown must be kept at all costs, sometimes even if it no longer fits comfortably. In most cases, women keep their wedding gowns as a memento, occasionally finding them useful. The childhood memories of my characters are intertwined with their mothers' and grandmothers' wedding gowns, filled with glamour, magic, and beauty. Their grannies' voices echo, advising them to keep the dress and bridal veil at home, not showing them to anyone or letting others possess them, as a precondition for a strong and enduring marriage.

This tradition is rooted in prejudice and superstition. For instance, the veil holds a special significance, believed to have the power to soothe a restless sleeping infant. It is also not uncommon for women to keep their gowns even after divorce. Replicating prior experiences is a central aspect of memory. Consequently, my characters' young daughters are inclined to wear their mothers' wedding gowns during their own ceremonies. The white dress becomes a self-replicating pattern, and their grannies' message becomes integrated into the collective memory of women.

The wedding gown's articles, imbued with power and symbolism, become fetishes. Encountering them causes modernity to unravel. Some women continue to keep their dresses due to unconscious reasons they cannot articulate. The real or imagined value of these wedding items is significant, and the memories associated with the event are so precious that many women mentally and ritually revisit that important day by keeping and wearing their dresses for marriage anniversaries.

Supported by our main online partner