At the DWCG's first overnight event - Costumers' Lost Weekend - we decided to mix things up a bit. Instead of having a big fancy gala, we're going to have a Mourning Party. The idea for our mini-con actually grew from a few of us talking about having a "pity party" for the folks who can't make it out to Costume College this year, so we thought it would be cheeky and fun to have a party to mourn the fact that we are stuck here in Texas instead of living it up in LA.
So now I need a black dress that would be appropriate for mourning. I tossed around a lot of ideas ranging from 1950's to Edwardian to Tudor, but I finally settled into the 18th c. after I stumbled across a few fabulous examples of black chemise dresses. I had never considered the possibility that chemise dresses could be black, but once I started looking around, I was surprised by how many examples I found of the more somber versions of robes en chemise. It seemed like a really fun choice that is different from the foofy white dresses that you see more often.
My dress is currently taking shape, and I hope to have some progress pictures that I can share in the next few days. In the meantime, I thought I would show you all some of my favorite black chemise dresses from 18th c. art. All of these along with links to the original sources can be found on my chemise gown and late 18th c. luv Pinterest boards. My dress isn't a direct copy of any one style, but I have combined elements from several of these paintings and illustrations to create my own version of a black chemise.