Gorey-Inspired

Back when I was young, Saturday nights were PBS Masterpiece Mystery nights.  I cut my teeth on the best of British programming, and love a good mystery.  No matter which mystery series was playing that night, the introduction was always the same.  Unbeknownst to me, this was my introduction to Edward Gorey.

Edward Gorey was a writer and illustrator whose specialty was sort of a whimsical macabre style. His book The Gashlycrumb Tinies, for instance, recounts the deaths of 26 children, each representing a letter of the alphabet.

I always loved the opening of Mystery, however, because it looked like a glamorous house party in England somewhere. I loved the lady with the batwing hat, and the chiffon dresses, and the dark, gothic feel. So, using Gorey as the inspiration, I’ve come up with an evening ensemble that combines whimsy and macabre, just like Gorey’s work.

While the dress is fairly classic, and the necklace is a Victorian reproduction, in order to not make it a total period costume, I’ve added in the edgy talon ring and two-finger cross ring. The evening gloves are fishnet, making them light and airy as well as interesting. A striking flower-and-feather headpiece and frankly fetishist shoes complete the outfit.

If you’re not looking for an evening look, but want to take a bit of the Art Nouveau sensibility of Gorey, Modcloth has a couple of nouveau-inspired dresses.

The Marion Dress has the light, airy feeling of the Gorey dresses, with an Art Nouveau pattern on it, whereas the Old and Nouveau dress is an Art Nouveau pattern in dress form.

What do you think? Is Gorey too gory for you? Or is it Gothically delicious?