Photos: A Century of Women in Black

"Death Becomes Her," a new exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, traces the rituals of women's mourning attire from the early 19th century through World War I
10-21-14 Death Becomes Her 19
Photos: A Century of Women in Black The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A new exhibit by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute that opened on Tuesday in the Anna Wintour Costume Center traces the rituals of mourning attire from 1815 to 1915. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire explores the intersection of high fashion and bereavement at its peak in the 19th century. The codified practices declined precipitously with World War I as armies suffered huge losses and women engaged in the war effort, beginning to work outside the home.

King Edward VII died just before the 1910 Royal Ascot, so the whole event was done in mourning, garnering the nickname the Black Ascot." Getty Images/Metropolitan Museum of Art