The Bohemian fashion style is a unique style that is commonly considered a free-spirited, artistic, and feminine style of velvets, florals, brocade, and flowing beauty. In the early 1900s, Virginia Woolf (the famed author) and her sister Vanessa Bell made the style popular with their Bloomsbury Group. But they got their inspiration from people who traveled from central Europe. They were referred to as bohémien, which is the French word for ‘gypsy.’


In the novel “Vanity Fair,” by William Makepeace Thackeray, the author used the word “bohemianism,” the first known use of the word in connection to a style. A group of artists, including the famed Dante Gabriel Rossetti, called the pre-Raphaelites became the real-life representation of the term. The Westminster Review of 1862 described the style as being unconventional in both life and in art.


Rossetti was the epitome of unconventional, and he and his friends lived an unusual lifestyle that was the topic of the day. Some of his friends, Jane Morris, William Morris, and Edward Burne-Jones made a name for themselves alongside Rossetti in their unusual dress, attitude and way of life.


Jane Morris was the female inspiration behind the entire bohemian style of dress. Her clothes were feminine, flowing, and unrestricted- in shocking contrast to the common dress of the day which included corsets and crinolines, stiff collars and skirt hoops.


Clothing is an art. It is a statement of your personality, taste, and mood. Clothing is so wrapped up in a young woman’s identity that it is almost inseparable from her image of herself and her statement to others. The contemporary young woman is looking for the fun and funky style that sets her apart from those who do not keep up with the trends. ANM was made for this young woman.


Of her, the writer Henry James remarked “Imagine a tall lean woman in a long dress of some dead purple stuff, guiltless of hoops (or of anything else I should say) with a mass of crisp black hair heaped into great wavy projections on each of her temples … a long neck, without any collar, and in lieu thereof some dozen strings of outlandish beads.”


Even into the early 1900s, Jane Morris was still an inspiration. Bernard Shaw, the playwrite, depicted her in his character Mrs. Higgins in the play, “Pygmalion.” She had a style that “defied the fashion of her youth,” as she wore stunning and elegant Rossettian costumes. The bohemian style had caught on in a big way and carried into the 1900s still going strong.