As fan of all things macabre as well as of costume and the fashion of the Victorian period, the announcement of the upcoming exhibit titled 'Death Becomes Her' at the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which combines all the above loves of mine, needless to say, thrilled me.
Opening on October 21st and running until February 1st next year, the exhibition explores the mourning clothes and jewellery throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Famously, during this period, Queen Victoria spent the majority of her life and thus reign in mourning attire after the early death of her husband Prince Albert. Having seen one of her mourning outfits previously at the Bath Fashion Museum, which you can read about here, this exhibition I'm sure will include several similar mourning dresses, if not some others of Queen Victoria.
According to the Met Museum's website, the exhibition will 'explore the aesthetic development and cultural implications of mourning fashions' as well as reveal the 'impact of high-fashion standards on the sartorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over the century.'
Although the collection on show will be predominantly black, of course, it is interesting to note the colour palette development as the century evolves, with the inclusion of shades of grey and mauve, as well as the alterations on silhouettes and material choices. The exhibition will also include several historical photographs to accompany the clothing to truly set the macabre scene within the Metropolitan Museum of Art, transporting the visitors back to the nineteenth century, particularly the sombreness of the mourning periods as felt by the wearers and owners of the clothing on display.
Fortunately, for my 21st birthday, which is the day before halloween - which may explain my love of the macabre, halloween and all things dark - my gift is a trip to New York. That alone is extraordinary and I am beyond excited. However, discovering that this exhibition coincides with the dates I plan to go is even more exciting. Not only will it satisfy my love of dark fashion, but as I am due to start my Fashion and Dress History degree in September, this exhibition will aid my studying too! I will, undoubtedly, be documenting my New York travels, and in particular be reviewing the 'Death Becomes Her' exhibition.
For more information on this exhibition visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art website here