After three weeks of Christmas prep at work, the team and I headed to New York City on Monday for a special project at our flagship there. Afterwards we all headed over to the Met for there current exhibit. Almost goes hand in hand with my October post Tales of the Tombstones!!!!!
Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, opened October 20th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This exhibit, which explores mourning fashions of the 19th and 20th centuries, is The Costume Institute’s first fall exhibition in seven years, and is on view through February 1, 2015. Another great exhibit, that I'm sure Ms Wintour signed off on!!!!
It was a very cool exhibit. Mourning practices during the 19th century were more than a private grievance, they were a public ritual upholding status through fashionable style. Curated by the Costume Institute, Death Becomes Her examines the aesthetic convergence of customary black mourning attire with the stylish trends of the day. The burden of mourning fell mostly on women as men were expected to upkeep economic responsibilities. As a result the majority of the 30 looks on view are examples of upper to middle class women’s wear. Exhibited chronologically on a central stage in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, bright spotlights highlighted the multiple layers of textured fabrics used to skillfully craft a mournful yet fashionable ensemble. Projected onto the surrounding walls are anecdotes from diary entries, fashion magazines, and other historical documents of the the ensembles with personal narratives.
Time spent during each of three mourning phases varied by the level of devotion to a lost loved one. You know, sort like when Amy Winehouse died, and I went into mourning. I wore black for a whole year before switching to grey for months..... and then finally a deep purple!!!!!!!
When the death of a husband was met, strict social expectations among the English and sometimes American elite were followed. During the Victorian era, a widow was expected to observe a year and a day of “full mourning,” during which she would refrain from “society” activities, veiled and wearing simple black dresses. After that, there was a nine-month period where she could drop the veil and incorporate small adornments, like jewelry or a trimmed hem. Then came “half-mourning,” where she could add grey, purple or a little white—this lasted three to six more months. If a woman did not observe proper mourning etiquette (especially if she was still young and pretty), she would usually be considered not only gauche, but downright libidinous.
Of course I would never do that!!!!This would be more the Mistress's mourning look....
If anyone gets a chance to go see this, it's very interesting to see. Tootles!