A new exhibition opening today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has me wanting to hightail it down to NYC. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire is the Costume Institute’s first fall exhibition in seven years and looks to be a cracking good one at that.
Exploring the evolution of mourning fashion between the years of 1815 to 1915, the show is a fascinating look at how women’s fashion impacted bereavement rituals. The exhibition includes mourning gowns worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra, with several ensembles being exhibited for the first time including a “silk chiffon mourning gown that last saw light when Queen Alexandra of England wore it in 1902” (Flirting with the Darkside, The New York Times).
Examples of restrained simplicity are shown alongside those with ostentatious ornamentation. The predominantly black clothes are set off against a stark white background and amplified with historic photographs and daguerreotypes.
Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire is on now October 21st, 2014 through to February 1st, 2015.
And if you’re around in NYC for Halloween, the Met’s Friday Evening Gallery Event with interactive experiences from Edgar Allan Poe readings to spooky photo booths or sketching in conjunction with the exhibition is a great alternative for some morbid culture – Victorian costumes encouraged!