Each gorgeous, unreal ensemble has a secret detail.
Showcasing a collection of ensembles to clothe the dead, the gorgeous and unreal opening ceremony for Mark Mitchell: Burial happened at the Frye Art Museum on a recent dark, cold, hard-raining Friday. Cellist Lori Goldston filled the gallery with a wandering, haunted song, while nine muse-models were strewn like jewels across the floor, lying prone on mirror panels. Among the bodies, the visitors stood transfixed—some cried, some whispered thoughtfully, and others just drifted, as if passing through a sad dream.
Each of Mitchell's works blends impeccable technique with masterful design, and he and his team used natural materials to ensure full biodegradation during "life's ultimate appointment," as he describes it, whatever one's preference: cremation, land burial, burial at sea. Along with goatskin and wool, the garments contain every variety of silk you could imagine—taffeta, crepe, habutai, chiffon, organza, gauze, bouclé—all of it kept impossibly white and draped into flowing pools, or densely wadded into crimping ruffles resembling barnacles, or cut in petal shapes, then carefully steamed and molded and arranged into bouquets.