Nothing says ‘relax’ like a pair of new silk satin pajamas - an ethos members of Britain's notorious bohemian Bloomsbury Group followed.
Here at Rose Fulbright, we encourage the wearing of our designs in and out of the home. Our cami tops can be worn at night over jeans with your favourite jacket and heels, our slips make the most divine partywear, throw on one of our robes to elevate any outfit... our pyjama sets will make fabulous separates for important meetings... The possibilities are endless. This interchangeable use of clothing fashion is inspired by the bold and free approach to fashion adopted by the Bloomsbury Set of 1910s Britain.
As we all know, there are few things more relaxing than slipping into a pair of effortlessly glamorous satin or silk pajamas, or a more traditionally classic two-piece sleepwear set. Sumptuous and suave sleepwear such as this set takes you back to the glamorous bygone era of London’s famous 1910s Bloomsbury Group, which included writers Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey, and artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, all known for their quirky fashion styles and hedonistic approach to life.
In the early years of the last century, The Bloomsbury Group set a precedent for a radical aesthetic change. Political liberals from wealthy, well-to-do backgrounds across the United Kingdom, the members sought a communal life in the south of England, aiming to throw off confines and welcome a more relaxed style of living, until then unheard of in Victorian Britain, especially for women's fashions.
Turn-of-the-century England was an austere place – too austere for Vanessa Bell and her sister, the author Virginia Woolf. Connected to a large network of artists, namely Duncan Grant, David Garnett, Roger Fry et al, a group was formed that eventually became a commune in the south of England. Here the friends could tuck themselves away from polite society, staying up late to talk and work. The home they created and the language by which they lived embraced beauty, collaboration and inclusivity, and gave its inhabitants a safe space to cohabit and work (and sleep) together, united in their aim to share art and ideas.
The group took its name from the cosmopolitan site in London where the writers first started meeting their artist friends, before settling in a house called Charleston in Sussex. This was a unique bunch, keen to escape the strict modus of Victorian England. Unconventional to the core, the group’s anti-establishment attitude extended to women's fashion and general attitudes to social behaviour. The women's clothing styles were relaxed and unique, designed around comfort and beauty rather than confinement or demureness.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the fashion world had little flexibility in the early 1900s. The Bloomsbury Group was to herald a change, their early gatherings the first sign of art and artists in early 20-century England moving in a different direction. High necklines and tight corsets were discarded. Harsh lines disappeared in favour of subtle folds, rich prints and draped lace. Fashions included trousers worn in a masculine way - loose and low-slung – for relaxation was key, comfort and luxury overtaking austerity and obeyance.
With the Bloomsbury Set leading the way, inter-dressing became acceptable: men wore more typically feminine styles including prints and patterns, and women slipped into men's silk shirts and slacks. As with all other constraints, the group challenged the use of clothing for particular occasions, for example a pair of luxurious women's pyjamas designed by Vanessa became a piece of art, more likely to be worn during the day.
An interesting sidenote to this is the double way of spelling 'pyjama'. 'Pajama' is the US version, and the name was given to a New York group of artists from the 30s and 40s. The title is a combination of the three artists' names – Paul Cadmus, Jared French and Margaret Hoening. Known for its simplistic, erotic art, the group worked around the same time as the Bloomsbury set.
Search our site for women's silk and satin pyjama sets that hark back to the luxurious, hedonistic Bloomsbury era. Our Charcoal Silk Camisole Set from the Eden Collection features trousers and a strappy camisole top, with a romantic garnet detail at waist and ankle. For a more androgynous look the Malindi Silk Pyjama set in soft dove grey has a T-shirt top and three-quarter length trousers is currently available. Wear it as relaxed summer daywear or for late slumber parties, just like the Bloomsbury lot.