aesthetic dress & teagown

Liberty & Co

aesthetic dress & teagown

Liberty & Co


Cream rippled crepe satin, trimmed with cream silk satin embroidered with large flower head design in cream silk, silver metallic thread and white glass beads, over cream silk. Coat section open CF to hem. Wide curved cape collar embroidered all over. Lined with cream silk. Wrist length sleeves lined with silk. Bodice lined with silk, skirt lined with cotton. Pocket at right side of lining. Under-dress of cream silk. High round neck. Fastening CF to hip with alternating hooks and loops. Silk dress preservers containing lavender sewn in. Unlabelled.

Display Label

The aesthetic dress movement of the 1870s and 1880s looked to reform the type of restrictive clothing worn by fashionable women, especially the appearance of over-tight corsets and narrow shackling skirts. Perhaps first originating with Amelia Bloomer's trousers in the 1850s (see below), by the end of the nineteenth century, this movement had its greatest effect in the design of domestic undress wear, specifically tea-gowns which could be used for a variety of "at home" entertaining occasions. Loosely flowing and obviously base on a Grecian or sculptural model, these dresses provided a classical timeless shape, free from fussy over-trimmed decoration. The London firm of Liberty & Co was established in 1875, first selling products influenced by the Orient and slanted to an artistic market. They were prime retailers of these tea-gowns, and their booklets of designs showed dresses which could be chosen and ordered. This example from around 1910 has charming embroidery around the neck, yoke and cuffs, and is typically loose and full, not fitted to the figure at all.

Object Name

aesthetic dress & teagown

Creators Name

Liberty & Co

Date Created



Length CF: 57ins
Length CB: 75ins

accession number


Place of creation




© Manchester Art Gallery

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