Smocked Dress

Smocked Dress

Dress
England
Liberty
About 1895
Pongee silk with smocking and machine-made lace, brass hooks and silk eyes, silk twill and boned, lined with cotton, trimmed and embroidered
Museum no. T.17-1985

Dress reform was a trend that ran parallel with the Arts and Crafts Movement. In an effort to free women from corsetry, it advocated a radically new approach to dress. The clothes were homemade or produced in commercial studios. They used natural and artistic materials and often included hand-embroidered decoration inspired by the countryside and wild or garden flowers. Smocking was sometimes a feature of dresses designed and sold by Liberty's. It too evoked an imaginary rural simplicity.