Following her One For Sorrow EP – co-produced by Mansun’s Paul Draper – Welsh multi-instrumentalist The Anchoress will release her debut album early next year. In the meantime Catherine Anne Davies – to use her actual name – as been looking online and created a little visual feast for Q to tie in with the video of her lead EP track.
I like to rummage around on the internet. Doesn’t everyone? Over the past few years I’ve been rifling through the dark corners of eBay for vintage wedding dresses to wear on stage, and more recently I tumbled down the rabbit hole of the Prelinger archive where I found the perfect source material for my video in the form of instructional films from the 1950s about the art of marriage and being a good wife… So here it is. The video for One For Sorrow. A feminist manifesto of sorts about the constructions of female identity within the domestic and social realms. And a pop song.
The video contains no less than seven different vintage wedding dresses from my not-at-all-Miss-Havisham-esque collection…. On seeing it, friends started mentioning videos they thought I was referencing, but I wasn’t really borrowing anyone’s ideas, I just happen to have a few bridal gowns ready to wear on tour with Simple Minds next year.
But all the music video chatter unlocked a world of songs I’d half forgotten about, and a heap of promo clips that I’d never seen before, and ten minutes on YouTube quickly turned into two hours… It would seem that wedding dresses are a pop staple, and an alt-rock favourite. So, after more research than I care to mention, here’s my Top Five. These should serve as the ultimate guide to how to go bridal in a music video…
Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins Not Tragedies
“What a shame the poor groom’s bride is a whore” Not only a video featuring a wedding dress, an ACTUAL wedding, a priest, a gossiping bridesmaid, and some lovely longline white evening gloves… but this also happens to be one of my favourite songs. Ever. In this attire-appropriate context, the bride is giving excellent head-dress alongside some snazzily dressed burlesque dancers and some guy in a top hat (Brendon Urie) who isn’t allowed to say the word God (apparently it’s ok to sing “whore” but not “god damn”. America, who knew?). Said bride is caught red-handed and red-mouthed kissing some other guy right outside the church. Shameless. Groom-to-be reacts well to this by swapping outfits with Braedon. Not entirely sure what happened there guys…
Bridal style guide: Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Courtney Love’s lipstick application.
Madonna – Like A Virgin
Shot in a Venice with a lion, some white sheets, and Madge rolling around on a gondola, the actual wedding dress plays something of a bit part in this video. As Madonna wanders round an empty apartment unfurling dust sheets and admiring their thread count, she gets scooped onto a bed by a handsome stranger before getting into a boat with some dapper dude wearing a lion’s mask. A metaphor for a dangerous predator perhaps? Maybe it’s a Lion King themed honeymoon? I hear Venice is very romantic.
Bridal style guide: Pure 80s gold. Madonna pioneered the multi-pearl necklace and messy hair ensemble.
Katy Perry – Hot N Cold
Featuring seven cycling brides with baseball bats, Katy Perry’s gaggle of wedding be-dressed beauties make a firm nod to the 80s: all pearl necklaces and short ruffles. Katy’s own gown morphs from a bowed meringue creation in the opening church scene to a practical playsuit, as she pursues her errant lover on a bicycle, before threatening him with a zebra in the final scenes of the video. Wait… it’s all a dream! Not a case of love bi-polar. Phew…
Bridal style guide: Smeared eyeliner can go hand in hand with sartorial pragmatism and a dash of 80s nostalgia. Don’t forget to accessorize with a zebra.
Blood Red Shoes – An Animal
In the spirit of equal opportunities, it’s important to include this video for the fleeting but crucial appearance of a beautiful wedding dress on drummer/singer Steve Ansell. Riffing on the runaway bride motif here, Steve is also a proponent of the Katy Perry school of smudged eyeliner/mascara, as well as donning a rather fetching lace garter which he stuffs into the mouth of the naked running guy. Let’s not forget the tiara. Steve may have just inched ahead in the semi-precious stone stakes.
Bridal style guide: Like Katy Perry’s cross dressing bridesmaid, don’t be afraid of disrupting those gender stereotypes when it comes to bridal wear. Guys look great in a garter too.
No Doubt – Some Kind Of Life
Gwen Stefani does runaway bride here too with added pink candyfloss hair (14 years before the hipsters decided that pastel was cool…). The rest of the band have fun smashing up a display of tiered wedding cakes before turning up in a church graveyard to steal Gwen’s imaginary future-child-that-never-was. In the end, it all gets too much for poor Gwen and she gives up on the simple things in life, instead retreating to her trailer to take off her eyebrows.
Bridal style guide: Think Sideshow Bob. In a wedding dress…
Plus here are some more music video wedding dresses that got stood up at the altar…
Nick Lowe – I Knew The Bride When She Used to Rock
Guns N Roses – November Rain
Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me
Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Beyonce – Best Thing I Never Had
Billy Idol – White Wedding
For more head to Iamtheanchoress.com.