Mourningwear

Through garden, bower and heavy brocade skirt, the winds of change blow, as they have for the entire 125 year life of this ensemble of “Widow’ s Weeds” or mourning garb. The ribbon-work ornate and fully intact, the celluloid boning still stiff and springy, the hem devoid of wear and near perfect and yet the outfit shows some signs of well done repairs meaning it was worn in full mourning for some time. Perhaps it was that this Pacific Northwest widow lost the other half of her heart too soon to disease, accident or just plain misfortune. Perhaps also, upon the loss of that other half, her own heart died and mourning became the only life left to live. Each repaired seam, every loose thread becomes a scar upon the skin of a dress meant to denote the deepest scar of all, heartbreak. In the presence of this garment one can feel the loss innate to the fibers, can feel the desperate pang in the pit of one’s stomach at the realization of knowing a love no more and you cannot help but feel the externalized loneliness of Victorian mourning… A truly beautiful thing.

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