Inspiration – 1860s mourning

I’m currently working on a black velvet 1860s balgown. It’s going to be dramatic, and a bit gothic, but should also be fabulous.  Since starting to work on this dress, I’ve been looking at a lot of images, and I’d like to share.

The main inspiration will be this dress at the met:

Out of 1860s dresses, this is the type I particularly love. A square neckline, a waistband, dramatic fabric and a lot of lace.

It still has a pretty round crinoline, but it is starting to shift more to the back, just beginning to shift into the bustle-style of the 1870s. It also has a large train, which though awsome, I’ll probably leave out for practical reasons.

Here are some photographs period showing other mourning dresses:

I especially love the veils in the second photo. Although these photos are very serious, black was actually used in ball-gowns, which are generally happy occasions.

I guess that this is good for me, as it means that black was worn for all kinds of occasion.

To wrap up the post, some more black headwear pieces.