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From Ball Gowns to Mourning: The Met's Next Fashion Exhibit

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Getty Images, via <a href="http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/met-exhibit-explores-mourning-7777783">WWD</a>
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Getty Images, via WWD

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Perhaps they're going for a Halloween theme? WWD is reporting that the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is set to debut its first fall show in seven years this October, focusing on the garments that women wore during periods of mourning between 1815 and 1915.

The show is entitled Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, and it's certainly a turnaround from the elaborate ball gowns that are currently on display.

But since this is the Costume Institute, after all, curator Harold Koda is focused on the fashion element rather than its macabre origins. "For years, I have wanted to do a silhouette show, something that looks at the most exaggerated elements of the fashionable silhouette," he told the paper, noting that the 19th century was when this style flourished.

"Our selections are based on trying to find expressions of each of the silhouettes that existed these decades, and to represent different stages of mourning and different textiles that were required according to the dictates of mourning etiquette," said Jessica Regan, the exhibit's assistant curator.

Those selections include 30 outfits comprised of veils, gowns, and accessories—mostly in black, of course. It also includes pieces from Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra.

"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," said Koda.

The exhibition will debut on October 21st—roughly a month after Brooklyn Museum's high heels display and The Museum at FIT's dance exhibition open to the public—and will run through February 1st.
· Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibit Explores Mourning [WWD]
· Dance and Fashion Collide at the Museum at FIT This Fall [Racked NY]
· Killer Heels Are Coming to the Brooklyn Museum This Fall [Racked NY]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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