Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Fashion in mourning

We thought we'd seen the back of it, but could there be a deep and meaningful reason why we’re suddenly feeling the need to wear black? I'd like to suggest it’s not just the recession that’s making us seriously sombre, but that a big trend is gaining momentum - a curious fascination with all things to do with death and dying.

I spotted this a few years ago when, in 2006, I wrote a book - ‘Trends Beyond Life: In Search of Immortality’. I said that that Victorians’ obsession with death would return – “Ornate headstones, ornaments and all sorts of vintage paraphernalia will appear alongside graves, in crematoria and remembrance parks.” I also mentioned that old scents and “smells that remind us of our forebears will gain renewed popularity. Sepia photographs, domed displays of waxed flowers, ornamental urns and treasure boxes of our memories will reappear…”

The Victorians knew how to make the most of their mourning rituals, with strict codes of behaviour and dress that also made good economic sense for businesses specializing in areas as diverse as funerals and fashion. The elaborate Victorian commemoration of death disappeared with the onset of two World Wars – mass death in such tragic circumstances hardly provides great cause for celebrating the lives of the departed.

More recently, our curious concern with fame, fortune and everlasting youth are once again putting the spotlight on mortality: Michael Jackson’s life and death certainly captured all of these obsessions… and an untimely death is always a reminder that this is something which happens to us all.

How long will it be before baby boomers are regularly gathering around a coffin in the living room to show off their most stylish mourning gear? If so, we’ve got just the thing at ShopCurious - some wonderful black beaded and jet embellished vintage dresses, along with a selection of ultra-dramatic embroidered velvet capes.

Rare, old fashioned clothing that’s in limited supply is going to be much sought after, as we become more acutely conscious of our own unique part and place in history. I’d suggest you snap up as many of these collectable items as you can now, to pass on as heirlooms - or you might be gone before they are.

Will you?


Jill said...

I'm glad you found my blog thru Mr. Peacock...because now I've found yours!


Enjoy fashion history!
Some cultures wear white for mourning...
Great week Susan!!

Li Un said...

Thank you for comment Susan :)