Metropolitan Museum of Art's winter fashion exhibit examines the styles of this era.
Mourning fashion followed strict rules and etiquette in the Victorian era. There were detailed fashion publications noting the latest silhouettes for those who dressed to mourn that followed the most up to date style trends. The most luxurious fabrics were to be expected.
Social cues for public mourning were extensive, lasting past a year in some cases. However, aside from the cliche of the color black being slimming, it also indicated in society who might be "back on the market" for remarriage. The colors you wore, from black to grey to purple also indicated what stage of mourning you were in.
This exhibit also displayed beautiful mourning jewelry. There were ornate necklaces of jet and obsidian. Memento Mori jewelry was also made from the loved one's hair or had their names inscribed.
Death Becomes Her: Mourning Fashion Exhibit runs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until February 1, 2015.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Victorian times, photography was trending. I don't know why there was such a fascination with photographing the dead in this era, but this is explored in a beautiful new book Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem & Mourning Photography.
The newly released publication compiles a beautifully macabre collection of images that range from post death bed portraits, exquisitely staged memento mori, newspaper notices, daguerreotypes,gelatin silver prints and more dating back to 1840. The images were curated from the Thanatos Archive which has been collecting this memorabilia since 2002.
Are you not familiar with this historical trend? Photos like this were featured as a key clue in the Nicole Kidman movie The Others. The Victorians took the culture of mourning very seriously, dictating their every day fashion.
Is it morbid? Is it beautiful? Is it sad or an artistic tribute to ones who were loved?