Ghost
Robe by Liberty of London, ca 1897 London, the Victoria & Albert Museum



Object Type This garment with its full sleeves and long, flowing silhouette owes much of its inspiration to Pre-Raphaelite dress. The gown consists of a flared front panel attached to an open, flowing robe which falls from pleats at the back. The front panel has a patch pocket on the right side which is hidden by the deep plush edging.
Materials & Making The puffed sleeves, wide cuffs and velvet edgings are inspired by plain, loose 16th century gowns. The sunflower and pomegranate motif on the fabric was a recurring design on objects associated with the Aesthetic Movement. The subtle gold and brown tones were popular ‘artistic’ colours used in both dress and furnishing fabrics during the 1890s.
People Pre-Raphaelite painters had clothed their models in plain, loose dresses based on the forms of ‘early Medieval art’. The opening of Liberty’s dress department in 1884 helped popularise the taste for aesthetic dress. The Liberty designs which ranged from aesthetic gowns and children’s artistic dresses to more conventional ‘tea-gowns’ had a wide international appeal among the social elite.
Ownership & Use This type of dress was seen as the healthy and aesthetic alternative to the corseted and constrictive fashions in conventional dress. Before long it was not only those with artistic leanings who chose to wear garments which fit more loosely. By the early 20th century many fashionable dresses had a softer shoulder line and a more natural silhouette.

Robe by Liberty of London, ca 1897 London, the Victoria & Albert Museum

Object Type
This garment with its full sleeves and long, flowing silhouette owes much of its inspiration to Pre-Raphaelite dress. The gown consists of a flared front panel attached to an open, flowing robe which falls from pleats at the back. The front panel has a patch pocket on the right side which is hidden by the deep plush edging.

Materials & Making
The puffed sleeves, wide cuffs and velvet edgings are inspired by plain, loose 16th century gowns. The sunflower and pomegranate motif on the fabric was a recurring design on objects associated with the Aesthetic Movement. The subtle gold and brown tones were popular ‘artistic’ colours used in both dress and furnishing fabrics during the 1890s.

People
Pre-Raphaelite painters had clothed their models in plain, loose dresses based on the forms of ‘early Medieval art’. The opening of Liberty’s dress department in 1884 helped popularise the taste for aesthetic dress. The Liberty designs which ranged from aesthetic gowns and children’s artistic dresses to more conventional ‘tea-gowns’ had a wide international appeal among the social elite.

Ownership & Use
This type of dress was seen as the healthy and aesthetic alternative to the corseted and constrictive fashions in conventional dress. Before long it was not only those with artistic leanings who chose to wear garments which fit more loosely. By the early 20th century many fashionable dresses had a softer shoulder line and a more natural silhouette.

Women’s dressing gown by Iida Takashimaya, ca 1900 Japan (Kyoto, for the Western market), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pink silk taffeta dressing gown in kimono style with embroidered naturalistic chrysanthemums and butterflies in polychrome silks. Silk plain weave lining, padded hem and pleat in back of robe. Full sleeves gathered at shoulders and trimmed with braided silk cord and tassles. Matching sash of pink silk taffeta with double-sided embroidery of chrysanthemums in green brown and pink polychrome silk with knotted silk fringe. Gown labeled: S. Iida “Takashimaya” Silks and Embroideries. Kyoto.

Women’s dressing gown by Iida Takashimaya, ca 1900 Japan (Kyoto, for the Western market), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pink silk taffeta dressing gown in kimono style with embroidered naturalistic chrysanthemums and butterflies in polychrome silks. Silk plain weave lining, padded hem and pleat in back of robe. Full sleeves gathered at shoulders and trimmed with braided silk cord and tassles. Matching sash of pink silk taffeta with double-sided embroidery of chrysanthemums in green brown and pink polychrome silk with knotted silk fringe. Gown labeled: S. Iida “Takashimaya” Silks and Embroideries. Kyoto.

Morning dress in two parts (robe à la français), ca 1740 France (altered at a later date), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Morning dress in two parts (robe à la français), ca 1740 France (altered at a later date), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Emanuel Ritter von Neuwall by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, 1841 Germany, Wienmuseum
Look at this neckbeard.

Emanuel Ritter von Neuwall by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, 1841 Germany, Wienmuseum

Look at this neckbeard.

September “morning dress on a visit”, 1810 England, La Belle Assemblée
I’m assuming that this was meant to be worn in the morning when you’re staying at someone else’s house.

September “morning dress on a visit”, 1810 England, La Belle Assemblée

I’m assuming that this was meant to be worn in the morning when you’re staying at someone else’s house.

June fashions, 1847 US, Columbian Magazine
December fashions, 1863 France, Cendrillon
November morning dress, 1818 England, British Lady’s Magazine

November morning dress, 1818 England, British Lady’s Magazine

February morning dress, 1818 England, British Lady’s Magazine

February morning dress, 1818 England, British Lady’s Magazine

September morning dress and clothing for young boys, 1825 England, Ackermann’s Repository

September morning dress and clothing for young boys, 1825 England, Ackermann’s Repository

May morning dress, 1812 England, Ackermann’s Repository
I wonder if this could possibly be a nightgown?

May morning dress, 1812 England, Ackermann’s Repository

I wonder if this could possibly be a nightgown?

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