Ivory pleated blouse with a V-shaped smocked bib at the bustline front, back, and shoulder caps. High necked self ruffled released pleat collar with interior braid, peplum waistband, set in Elizabethan shaped sleeves with graduated puffs stitched down by narrow rows of smocking stitches; with silk gauze cuff ruffle and self covered flat buttons with figure eight loop closures down the center front. Labeled: "Liberty & Co./Artistic and Historic Costume Studio/222 Regent St. W." Labeled: "Davis & Co. 143"
Liberty & Co. of Regent Street in London was well-known in the late nineteenth century as a purveyor of fine fabrics and eastern wares closely associated with the Aesthetic Movement. In 1884, they opened a costume department, producing garments that were strongly influenced by Rational dress theories and Aesthetic movement sensibilities. Garments like this one that bear the label of the Liberty & Co. Artistic and Historic Costume Studio are quite rare. Made of cream silk gathered into pleats with small puffed sleeves and smocking across the yoke, this blouse is an excellent example of historically-inspired artistic dress of the late 1890s.