Dark Romantic Couture since 1998 + Hand Cut + Hand Sewn

St Louis, Missouri | 751 Sales


Dark Romantic Couture since 1998 + Hand Cut + Hand Sewn

St Louis, Missouri 751 Sales On Etsy since 2009

5 out of 5 stars (341)

rosemortem is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Please note that I am not accepting orders at present...I am taking a hiatus to look after family and pursue other creative endeavors.
For updates, please follow me on Instagram @rosemortem and ~ thank you xx

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Feb 19, 2019

Please note that I am not accepting orders at present...I am taking a hiatus to look after family and pursue other creative endeavors.
For updates, please follow me on Instagram @rosemortem and ~ thank you xx

Rose Mortem

Contact shop owner

Rose Mortem


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
See reviews that mention:
quality 50 shipping 47 customer service 66


My Narcisse design: An old-fashioned hand-cased bustle skirt in luscious taffeta with hand cut, hand-ruffled black chiffon trim. This design may be the most time consuming design in my collection! Hours upon hours well spent.
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Wearing The Inside On The Out: Dark Romantic Couture Since 1998

"Rose Mortem" the fashion label was created in 1998 when I first began designing clothing professionally and launched my online label. My name is Rose, and I personally designed and created every item you see in my collection. With my friends Jayme and Merlin, we hand-cut and sew every item for every client.

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I absolutely love my clients; they're some of the most inspiring, beautiful and interesting people I could have imagined knowing. There is often a story behind each of my designs - a song, a book, a painting, a person - each design has its own source of inspiration. Over the years I've also learned that most of my clients have a story to tell, too - a reason they are placing their order, a reason that particular design speaks to them so personally. I often design for celebrities, performers, and public figures - and have an impeccable reputation for confidentiality! If you look closely, you'll see my designs in movies, at the opera, or on festival stages.

I started my fashion label when I was just a teenager, when I discovered how empowering and magical it felt to wear this fantastical, beautiful clothing I had imagined and created. After doing this for nearly twenty years, it is that magic that has kept me inspired, motivated and caring.

I think of my work as "dark romantic couture" because I've always been inspired by the art and writings of romanticism, and because of a very special musician. I heard a song called "The Dark Romantics" by a band called The Awakening when I was just starting my fashion label, and that song prompted my taking those words as my company's tag line. In a truly incredible twist of fate, eleven years later I ended up meeting the man who wrote and performed that song - Ashton Nyte - we fell in love at first sight and have been married since 2009. For that reason, among many more, I am convinced that faerie tales absolutely do come true. If you would like to see us along with some of my custom designs, do watch:

I love to create works inspired by the romantics, by beautiful faerie and the enchanting, elegantly gothic. Over the years my label has been featured in publications around the globe; I continue to release new designs as I have time, streamlining the current selection to reflect a variety of ideas from past and present inspirations, which are usually musical or literary.

As a pianist and compulsive music lover, music remains my most essential inspiration today - this inspiration has resulted in creations that, I hope, feel like the music that has played such an important role throughout my life.

Today I continue to tour with my husband Ashton, run my fashion label, and write. I also work in software development on the management team of one of the most highly respected technology companies in the world, so I stay rather busy! I predominantly reside in the USA with my family and four rather ferocious house cats. Be warned, they'll take your arm off. The cats, I mean. ;)

Thank you so much for reading our story - I truly look forward to creating with you.


Shop members

  • Rose

    Owner, Model, Designer

    I'm a fashion designer, writer, musician, model, wife, mother of two sons and four cats. I am also on the software development management team at the best tech company in the world, so I stay rather busy. ;)

  • Jayme

    Seamstress Extraordinaire

    Jayme brings a patience, precision and eye for detail to Rose Mortem that we could not do without. In addition to having a masters degree in fashion design, her true love of our long-established dark aesthetic is nothing less than inspiring.

  • Merlin

    Maker, All-around Lovely Human Being

    Merlin joined Rose Mortem in 2012 as head cat herder and magic seamstress, able to churn through piles of fabrics for hours on end without so much as a whimper. She's also a fantastic artist! Her shop is at

  • Kylie

    Quality Assurance

    Kylie joined the studio in 2009 after being abandoned as a kitten and rescued from near-death. After weeks of illness, she has grown up to be a healthy but tiny cat with a penchant for testing all ribbons and/or drippy bits. Instagram #kylienyte

  • Elise & Luna


    Elise & Luna thoroughly enjoy helping Jayme keep careful track of patterns, ribbons and anything else within their reach. They provide invaluable assistance whenever a stray thread has become unruly or a scrap of fabric needs a layer of fur added.

  • Eva Moonshadow


    Eva joined our family in 2016 and thoroughly inspects all papers and packages before leaving the facility. Named after the beautiful miss Eva Green. See pictures of Eva on Instagram at #evanyte!

Shop policies

Last updated on October 7, 2018
Since 1998, I have created designs that are inspired by my love of hauntingly beautiful music, art and literature. I wish to create clothing that feels like the music I listen to, that speaks to the soul and beckons to dreams. Elegant, fantastical and darkly romantic dresses, wedding gowns, skirts, petticoats, tops, jackets, gloves, and other hand-made eccentricities are my specialty. I have also created one-of-a-kind items for performers and artists of all sorts - from opera divas to metal bands to television personalities. All items are cruelty-free! No silks, leathers or fabrics derived through the abuse of humans or animals are ever used.

Accepted payment methods

Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept cancellations
Request a cancellation within: 24 hours of purchase
I don't accept returns or exchanges
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Returns and exchange details
Returns & Exchanges: Because all items are made by hand to your measurements, I cannot accept returns. If an item has an issue of some kind, I'll be happy to fix it! Please make sure you carefully read the item's description, and double-check the measurements provided to prevent any disappointment. I care deeply about my client's satisfaction and will work with you if there is a problem.

Canceling An Order: Once your order is placed, I get to work immediately. I create your pattern by hand, and I order your fabric. Please note that unless you contact me within 24 hours to cancel, I cannot cancel an order once it has been placed because of the work that starts being committed to your order almost as soon as I receive it. Don't order unless you are certain you want to proceed.
I accept payment via PayPal or credit cards. I do not offer payment plans.
My turnaround time can vary widely depending on the time of year and item ordered - please feel free to check in for current creation time. Typically I take at least 6-8 weeks to complete an order, longer if I have several to do at once. Quality and attention to detail take time. :)

I use USPS Priority Mail for most shipments, unless other arrangements are made. All clients receive a convo with tracking # for their item when the shipment is on its way!

US and Canada shipments typically take 3-5 business days transit time (I am located in St. Louis, Missouri USA), and international shipments can take as much as 6 weeks in transit depending upon the country being shipped to. If a faster shipping option is needed, I can definitely work with you! I'm very accustomed to shipping all over the world.

Customs/duties fees will be charged to clients ordering from outside of the USA. These fees are based on the value of the item ordered, and are pre-populated by Etsy when I print your shipping label. I cannot lower the value of the item you are purchasing so please check with your local postal services to find out how much your customs/duties costs will be.
Additional policies and FAQs
I care about Fair Trade, and I think you should, too.
We all know that most clothing sold in department stores comes from developing countries, often with labor laws and enforcement capabilities far inferior to those that we in the more privileged parts of the world would accept as humane.
We don’t always consider the materials used to create a product, though.

Some fabrics used to create clothing - even handmade clothing, created with fabric purchased in a first-world country, perhaps even from a major store - are manufactured in countries where workers have few if any rights, where working conditions are sickeningly inhumane, and where children as young as five years old are essentially sold in to manufacturing slavery by their families to pay debts. These atrocities are real. The vast majority of fabrics in the world come from China and India, both considered high-risk countries for such human rights abuses.

In light of the above, I personally interview every fabric supplier to verify that these companies are adhering to ethical standards. Wherever possible, I purchase materials from companies that are Fair Trade certified. I also use the website to check on certifications. It is my hope that by taking these extra steps, even when they may be less cost effective, we can all play a role in ending man's inhumanity to man.

Consume conscientiously.