1860s William Morris

In a publication by Catherine McDermott (Professor of Design at Kingston University in London and now director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York) on tradition and style in British fashion (Octopus Publishing Group Ltd, London 2002) one can find a photograph of the English designer, craftsman and socialist writer William Morris taken in the 1860s where he sits in a garden on a stack of wooden planks, encircled by different sorts of large scale textiles folded and nested beside him. McDermott finds in Morris a worthy example of the up to this day remaining middle-class English male disregard for fashion. "[His] look proclaims that one's personal values are more important than fashion," consequently opposed to the standards of the immaculate Victorian gentleman of wealth and respectability. We see him wear a loose-fitting wool suit and unstarched shirt, creasy plain trousers, practical and comfortable looking outdoor shoes, long ungroomed hair and beard – scruffy, disheveled but highly politicized like the creating and thinking man himself. In a later period of his life he adopted what McDermott calls a "more extreme version of dress" compiled from indigo-dyed shirts and a suit of blue serge, which later became the antetype uniform of a defined revolutionary.