9th March 2013
The recent exhibition at Lotherton Hall explored some of the connections between the William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Aesthetic Movement.
The Aesthetes were influenced by the freedom of the loose-flowing female clothing in the Pre-Raphaelite paintings of Rossetti and Burne Jones.
There was a wonderful Aesthetic dress in beautiful turquoise and purple velvet which had been printed in such a way as to look as if each colour ran into another. The neckline had a central cream beaded detail. The sleeves were softly flowing which became fuller towards the wrist with a pointed edge which had a braided detail. I would love to wear this dress!
Another dress I would love to wear was a soft flowing green dress which had been sold through Liberty’s, London. Designed so ladies did not need to wear corsets, the movement for rational dress had brought about this change in fashion and attitudes. Although it sold well, ladies tended to wear them at home, a lot more comfortable than the mainstream fashions of the time, and a great deal more stylish than a jogging suit of today!
The Aesthetic movement ladies’ clothing was a reaction to the highly corseted style of the time, as shown above.