Horrockses Fashions

The Fashion and Textile Museum on a rainy September’s morning. Briskly walking huddled under my umbrella with a cup of coffee in my other hand. I was slightly lost but it was fun…I have a love for the city it’s so electric, so many people going places, doing different things I could watch it all day. I was at the museum to attend an exhibition on Horrockses Fashions’ which was the manufacturer of one of the most prestigious ready to wear labels of the 1940s and 1950s. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised, it was definitely interesting and allowed me to reflect on the evolution of fashion.

Horrockses Fashions’ was founded in 1946 and predominately focused on high quality women’s daywear, evening wear, beach clothes and house cotes (dressing gown/robe). In the early 50s they also added children’s wear to their collection.  They focused on excellent quality of fabrics (usually cotton), custom pattern and the fashion styling itself.

(Note: Picture quality is not great, flash photography was not permitted)

The stylists were encouraged to visit Paris couture shows and use their holidays to gain inspiration for when it came down to the designing process. On average the price for one of the dresses would range from £4 to £7 the equivalent to £80-£130 today.  The Horrockses Fashions’ label is typically associated with cotton summer dresses and was often regarded as essential holiday wear. The label was a hit with members of the royal family as well as other affluent women.

The pattern designs was my favourite aspect of the whole line. Quite often the design patterns were ideas of contemporary artists that were purchased off them and then translated on cloth. The link between fashion and art is truly beautiful and is often overlooked, some of the prints had such great attention to detail.

Below are some original sketches involved during the designing process. They obviously could not utilise the techniques we do in today’s industry instead, it was all very hands on and experimental.

Another favourite of mine was the wedding dress. It was so simple but to me made a very strong statement. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wedding dress with collars and long sleeves, sounds like something I’d get married in. Simply beautiful.

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2 Responses to “Horrockses Fashions”

  1. Sarah Adibi Says:

    I want a wedding dress with long sleeves and a collar, though made of antique french lace. Maybe when the time comes you can help me find or design my dream wedding dress??

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