High Fashion for the Grave
In the world of high fashion, nothing is outlandish or taboo—not even couture for the dead. With a uniquely refreshing outlook on the death industry and funeral pre-planning, Seattle fashion designer Mark Mitchell created a nine-piece collection of high fashion funeral clothes.
The collection displays a strong respect for tradition. Billowing and composed of white silk, the gowns combine a Victorian feeling with more modern ideals of beauty and serenity. And because they are designed with burials in mind, they are also practical from a funeral director’s standpoint—open up the back for easy use, and not worried about movement so much as how they look laid out in a casket.
Practical Burial Clothes
Of course, most of us cannot afford designer clothes for burial, especially if we already have funeral costs to contend with. Even if you take Mitchell’s advice and handle death by pre-planning your funeral and addressing the topic openly, shelling out a few thousand dollars for hand-sewn silk clothes that will only decay might seem like a bit much.
But as is the case with most types of couture fashion, it is not about owning the exact garment on display so much as sparking an idea. In this case, it is the idea of taking time to think about how we want to make our final bow to the world.
Traditionally, families select an outfit from the deceased’s closet, looking for a favorite conservative dress or a military uniform. While there is nothing wrong with this (and, in fact, searching through a closet can help bring a sense of closure), you may wish to take things one step further by commissioning a funeral shroud or shopping for a nightgown in the perfect shade and fabric. That extra special touch can mean a lot during this emotionally difficult time.
Fashion for the Dearly Departed
The idea of fashion for the dead is not new. Many cultures and religious groups have created traditions of burying the deceased in ceremonial clothing or with painstaking rites. Hand-sewn shrouds, mummification, wedding dresses—when it comes to sending our loved ones off with care, it seems no outfit is too extravagant to be considered. Mitchell is simply fusing current American ideals (that of high fashion and flawless design) with rites and traditions we all have come to adopt and adore.