aesthetic dress

Liberty & Co

aesthetic dress

Liberty & Co


Pale pink silk satin with white silk crepe chiffon. Lined with white jap silk. Bodice entirely outlined with band of stiffened satin, embroidered in pink stemstitch and glass beads along the edge and in centre. Band running down edge of low V neck at front and back, crossing over itself at centre front, curving round immediately below bust, under arm and up to base of neckline at centre back. Two large buttons, covered in satin and embroidered, joined by corded pink silk loop, on each shoulder. centre back seam open for 14", fastened with three pairs of embroidered buttons and corded loops, hook and loop, three hooks and eyelets and clip and loop. Skirt slightly gathered at sides. Gathers tightening to centre front. Hem dips from sides to centre back. Sleeves of chiffon, each forming large triangles with squared ends, base tightly gathered into armhole, point falling for 34" along underside of arm, upper side open, edges trimmed with narrow line of glass beads. Pocket at centre back. White silk inner skirt frill. Unlabelled but see 'Dress and Decoration' Liberty catalogue 1905. 2nd colour plate. "Hera" - Ancient Greek evening gown. Robe of Mitra silk with cross-bands hand-embroidered in pearls and silver.

Display Label

Men and women in ancient Greece both wore the chiton, a simple, loosely draping, unisex tunic, comprising a large, rectangular length of soft wool or linen, pinned at the shoulders. The chiton could be worn in various ways, fastened on one shoulder or both, and drawn into the waist with a single cord belt or with several. People in ancient Rome generally wore the toga, a voluminous, semi-circular piece of fabric, which could be wrapped around the body in many different ways. The neo-classical movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries looked back to these classical civilisations, seeking the apparent simplicity of their ideals in reaction to the excesses of a ruling aristocracy. In women's dress, a highered waistline and loose silhouette were used to reflect purity and simplicity, and the unstructured loosely draping silhouette was suggestive of fine sculpture. Liberty & Co in the later nineteenth century also drew on classical influences as seen in the three designs shown below and dating from around 1910. Classical styles have also inspired more modern designers, especially the japanese, as seen in this pleated evening gown of peppermint green polyester jersey by Japanese-born Miyazaki-ken Yuki. His garments are pleated and folded with painstaking attention to detail to ensure the perfect drape, and they are constructed so that fabric falls away from the body and ripples like waves as the wearer moves.

Object Name

aesthetic dress

Creators Name

Liberty & Co

Date Created



Length front: 127cm
Length back: 166.4cm
Shoulder to waist: 36.8cm
Hem: 367cm

accession number


Place of creation




© Manchester Art Gallery

Fill out my online form.