“There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we, them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.”
Virginia Woolf, from Orlando: A Biography.
Formed in 1905, the famous 'Bloomsbury Group' of artists, writers and intellectuals pursued an ongoing collaboration, sharing ideas, creative support and ultimately friendship, which spanned 30 years. World-famous for works produced by members such as Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Virginia Woolf, the group is still celebrated today for their art which was pivotal at the time, as well as their controversial liberal views and unconventional lifestyles.
Many have been inspired by the group, whether through reference to great works of fiction, post-impressionist art from the turn of the century, Charleston Farmhouse itself, or the ideas of its members and their relationships. This season we too payed homage to this collective of creatives in developing our 'Bloomsbury Set', three colours and a print in a dress style that epitomises their free and easy nature, a touch of practical 'artisan' style, effortless and elegant.
Come take a leaf out of their book and delve into the world of the Bloomsbury Group...
The 'Bloomsberries' were made up of intellectuals, writers and artists; friends, lovers and family members, they embraced a culture of sexual equality, freedom and informality which broke away from Victorian convention, meeting weekly to share ideas within a nurturing, creative environment.
Charleston Farmhouse in the South Downs became a regular meeting place for gatherings and parties. By all accounts a rather run-down house in beautiful surroundings, Vanessa Bell who had owned the property since the war, decorated it with Duncan Grant to create the playful, painterly Bloomsbury style so celebrated today.
The group was seen as particularly controversial, some remarking that they were simply elitist individuals with a decorative and unoriginal style, others believing that they truly contributed to artistic innovations at the time. Whilst they may seem rather traditional in these times, the Bloomsbury Group did break boundaries amongst their contemporaries through their expressive work and ideas. Furthermore, they nurtured a creative environment, supporting many young artists and generating a spirit of free-thinking through collaboration which we very much admire at JTHQ!
We designed our new Bloomsbury dress with artistic tendencies in mind; a raglan sleeve for ease of movement, a waist that can be drawn in to suit both 'freethinking' or more fitted days, smocked elastic detailing at the wrist for delicate prettiness with comfort. Pockets of course! As always, made in collaboration with our makers and suppliers through and through.
Our Bloomsbury dresses come in 4 colour ways: Painted Dhalia print on a limited deadstock cotton poplin and three rich colours of softest microcord, Sapphire, Marmalade and Moss.