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Georgian fashion on show at the Walker Art Gallery

Middle class fashion items from the Georgian era have gone on show at the Walker Art Gallery.

Dressed to Impress: Fashion in the 18th Century features 13 outfits worn by men and women of the era, along with some of their accessories.

The display includes a pair of women’s shoes with overshoes for outdoor wear to protect the feet against the dirty conditions in the streets, and two men’s wallets - one of which belonged to John Bridge, a Liverpool merchant heavily involved in the transatlantic slave trade.

There is also a rare pair of men’s knitted silk and lambswool stockings with padding designed to accentuate the calf area, from an era when it was desirous for men to have shapely calves.

Clothes in the display include women’s formal dresses, elaborately embroidered men’s waistcoats, and a pair of ‘stays’ (a laced corset).

Pauline Rushton, senior curator at National Museums Liverpool, said: “We’re incredibly fortunate to be presenting these exquisite items from our collections together for the first time in this display.

“Visitors to the Walker Art Gallery will enjoy not only the variety and detail seen in 18th Century ways of dressing, but also learn about some of the social issues at play throughout the century.

“These beautiful pieces demonstrate how fashion can be an important vehicle for exploring everyday life in past centuries.”

Dressed to Impress is at the William Brown Street gallery until spring 2020.

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