Dark Romantic Couture + Hand Cut + Hand Sewn

St Louis, Missouri · 741 Sales


Dark Romantic Couture + Hand Cut + Hand Sewn

St Louis, Missouri 741 Sales On Etsy since 2009

5 out of 5 stars

Announcement   Dark Romantic Couture Handmade Gothic Clothing since 1999 - Designed by Rose Mortem and handmade with love and magic by Rose & Jayme in our cat-laden sewing studios in St. Louis, Missouri USA. All items are cruelty-free and entirely one-of-a-kind. Available exclusively on Etsy and


Last updated on Jun 24, 2017

Dark Romantic Couture Handmade Gothic Clothing since 1999 - Designed by Rose Mortem and handmade with love and magic by Rose & Jayme in our cat-laden sewing studios in St. Louis, Missouri USA. All items are cruelty-free and entirely one-of-a-kind. Available exclusively on Etsy and

Rose Mortem

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Rose Mortem


Luna (Tuna!) helping Jayme create more Circee dresses last night - pattern modeling is her specialty!
Updating the Celcia skirts with this little helper! Life is all about balance - with a cat on one knee.
A giant pile of royal blue velvet - soon to become lots of Aislinn dresses! Remember we have a coupon through June for 18% off - "MAY221998" to celebrate 18 years of business. Enjoy!


Wearing The Inside On The Out: Dark Romantic, Gothic and Faerie Clothing Since 1998 From Rose Mortem

"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. When I began my company, I didn't realize designing clothing could be so magical - I thought I was the only one this intrigued by telling a story with clothing. After doing this for more than fifteen 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...I heard a song called "The Dark Romantics" by a band called The Awakening a very long time ago that prompted my taking those words as my company's tag line. In an amazing turn of events, eleven years later I ended up meeting the man who wrote and performed that song; 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 Rose Mortem 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 often, 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, expand my fashion line, and write. I also work as a coach and consultant on organizational behavior, emotional intelligence and creative leadership, with a focus on the software development community. When I am not doing all of these wonderful things, I predominantly reside in the US with my family and two 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 am the "Rose" behind Rose Mortem, my clothing label dedicated to dark, romantic fashion. I'm a designer, writer, musician, wife, and mother of two - I also teach agile software development at the best tech company in the world, so I'm a busy lady!

  • 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 July 17, 2016
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 often 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

  • Pay with Visa
  • Pay with Master Card
  • Pay with American Express
  • Pay with Discover
  • Pay with PayPal
  • Buy with Apple Pay
  • Pay with Sofort
  • Pay with iDeal
  • Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
I accept payment via Paypal or credit cards. I do not offer payment plans.
My turnaround time is generally 2-4 weeks depending on the time of year and item ordered - please feel free to check in for current creation 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 2-6 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.
Refunds and Exchanges
Returns & Replacements: Because all items are made by hand when your order is placed, I do not 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 almost immediately 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.
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.