Fall’s Costume Institute Exhibit Will Focus on Mourning Attire

The theme of this fall’s Costume Institute Exhibition will focus on the effect mourning attire had on high fashion between 1815 and 1915 (when the period of grief required more than one chic LBD). It will be titled “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire” and will showcase around 30 garments and accessories, including ones worn by Queens Victoria and Alexandra.



“For years, I have wanted to do a silhouette show, something that looks at the most exaggerated elements of the fashionable silhouette, which, in the 19th century, takes really extraordinary transformations,” said curator-in-charge Harold Koda. “[We] said, ‘Why don’t we do a show with all of our black dresses on the theme of mourning? It’s the intersection of this really sobering and quite poignant narrative about dealing with grief, and at the same time a really chic fashion story.”

You’re not wrong for thinking exhibits typically take place in the spring either—the last fall one was staged seven years ago. Mark your calendars now: The collection will be on view from October 21 through February 1.

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