Friday, June 15, 2012
Aesthetic dress was a fashion of the 1880s and 1890s consisting of mediaeval-like robes which were loose, unstructured and with little detail and few accessories or trimmings. The fashion was promoted as a more natural look for women in contrast to the artificial tiny waists and full bosoms of other fashions current at the time.
Excuse me as I venture into territory I know little about. But Franny Moyle in 'Constance' talks about her adopting Aesthetic dress because of the wives of the PRB such as Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris.
There depictions on canvas were copied by others. And off canvas they established new liberties, such as new kinds of dresses "with sleeves either sown on at the shoulder, rather than below it, or puffed and loose. While the rest of the Victorian populace had to go about with their arms pinned to the bodies in tight, unmoving sheaths, the Pre-Raphaelite women could move their arms freely, to paint or pose or simply be comfortable."
Their dress was both a style and a statement of a desire for more liberation.
Constance bought her dresses from Liberty's, started in 1875 by Arthur Liberty in London.