As far as thinking outside the box goes, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center has proven that it’s not at all afraid of venturing into unchartered territory to produce spectacular results. With few fiscal restraints and a ton of creativity, the world is quite literally the Costume Institute’s oyster—and this fall, they’re filling it with a particularly dark pearl.
Through Oct. 21 to Feb. 1, the Center’s main exhibition will focus on mourning attire from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, between 1815 and 1915. Called Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, the exhibit is set to showcase roughly 30 pieces of clothing and accessories, impressively including those worn by Queen Victoria herself.
“The predominantly black palette of mourning dramatizes the evolution of period silhouettes and the increasing absorption of fashion ideals into this most codified of etiquettes,” said the Costume Institute’s curator-in-charge Harold Koda in a press release. “[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.”
It’s safe to say that this particular exhibit—as with all the displays put on in years past—will be fascinating and beautiful to the point of extravagance; after all, that’s just how Miss Wintour likes it, right?