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2nd October 2023


Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion by Charlie Porter is a fascinating read, and presents a new way of considering the Bloomsbury Group by looking at their clothes. The title is taken from a letter written in 1920 by Virginia Woolf to TS Eliot in which she says, "“We are hoping to see you on Saturday...Please bring no clothes: we live in a state of the greatest simplicity.” By which she means they did not dress for dinner. But in fact, their "new way with clothes" amounted to a "fresh philosophy of living". Here we have Virginia painted by Vanessa Bell (c1912, National Trust) having cast off her tight Victorian stays and corsets.

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