Sober Spring Fashion
With it’s official start early last week, many the world over are wondering when we’ll actually start to see the colors of spring not just in nature, but also in stores and on sidewalks. This past winter’s fashion was heavy on Victorian and gothic influences with designers like Rick Owens and Anna Demeulemeester boasting rich velvets, high collars, lace, and plenty of black. In a recent exhibit entitled Gothic: Dark Glamour at the Museum at FIT, the curator explained that much of what we consider “gothic” fashion is actually influenced by the Victorian Cult of Mourning, a romanticized version of the bereavement process in which the wife and progeny of the deceased would wear only black immediately following their death, then would gradually introduce purples and grays into their wardrobe in accordance with mourning customs. While it would be easy to say this trend in winter fashion was a direct result of a figurative “mourning of our global economy” post-financial collapse this past fall, in actuality it’s most likely the result of both consumers and designers tiring of the infantilizing trends of empire waists and baby doll dresses that were so prevalent in women’s fashion the previous winter.