Thursday, February 24, 2011

Adding some Mourning to your day

The deafening street roared on. Full, slim, and grand
In mourning and majestic grief, passed down
A woman, lifting with a stately hand
And swaying the black borders of her gown...
- Charles Baudelaire, รก une Passante

The dark romanticism of black mourning attire can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. But Queen Victorian took the traditional customs and clothing of mourning to a whole new level after the death of her husband, Albert. Longer periods of mourning meant more stages of mourning dress, and more accessories to complement them.
The influence of Victorian mourning fashion is obvious in Western Goth and Gothic Lolita, some people going so far as to flat out wear replicas of historical black crepe gowns. Here's some ways to really channel the artful solemnity of the Victorians into your wardrobe.

- Black on black on black. Black is obviously the primary color of Gothic Lolita, but other colors are often mixed in. Trying layering with different textures of black if you feel the monochromatic scheme is too overpowering. Black lace over a solid black fabric makes for an interesting texture, and keeps an outfit more Gothic than Kuro.
or if you want to go in a different direction...
White was the color of deepest mourning for Queens in Europe for a long while. Also, it is the second more popular color in the Gothic style, unsurprisingly. Try to stay as completely Shiro as possible for full dramatic effect.

- Cameos and Jet jewelry. Cameos, especially those made with locks of the deceased's hair, were very popular ornaments. Obviously, cameos sans human hair are much easier to find. Jewelry made from jet, a black stone, was also common. Even better? Cameos made from jet!
A cheaper solution to actual jet is simply black plastic, or black beads. I have a black plastic rose-shaped ring that I've worn on a daily basis for a year, it goes with everything!

- High collars and less skin. Lolita is obviously a more conservative fashion than most in terms of skin exposure. But mourning clothes were conservative even by Victorian standards! Look for dresses and blouses with a high collar, rather than peter pan collars or square/scoop necklines. Wear solid black tights instead of knee socks. Try long leg o' mutton sleeves for an especially widow-like feel.

-Veils and headwear. The veiled widow is a tradition carried on past the 1800's. Dramatic pillbox hats with net veils were common funeral-wear well into the 50's, some people still wear them today. And of course, veils are commonly seen on Gothic Lolita headdresses. I would recommend going with these more modern versions of the veil for practicality's sake (a full veil could look amazing but really get in your way). A black bonnet would also do nicely.

Here are some currently available mourning-eque designs (click image to be taken to it's store).

Now go forth and be gloomy! (Did you know that you could actually get a job as a professional mourner in the Victorian Era and in Ancient Egypt?)


  1. A friend of mine is an expert in Victorian Mourning Jewellery, and he's also unbelievably handsome ^_^

    Also that last picture of yourself...For a second, I thought it was me :P

    I have a pic of myself back when I was younger and had similar hair to yourself, wearing a similar black dress and black corset.

    Freaked me out for a second :P

  2. This just may be my favourite post yet. Thanks for posting! I simply adore it:)

  3. Extending the mourning period in order to wear more mourning clothes sounds so Victorian XDDDD

    I liked looking at all these!

  4. Ah, notre fameux Charles Baudelaire!

    Nice post.

  5. I love Baudelaire. I'm currently reading The Flowers of Evil (among other things). When I was younger, I wanted to be a professional mourner :P

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