Permission to wax lyrical about this gorgeous gown from Horrockses, please Miss! It’s possibly one of the most beautiful 1950s evening gowns I’ve ever seen, definitely the most beautiful Horrockses thus far (but it’s a close call between some other lovelies I’ve had/have). Not only is it beautifully draped and fitted around the bodice, not only is the print reminiscent of watered silk gowns from the 18th Century, but it has the most technically brilliant drape of fabric up the back and attached to the single shoulder strap. The drape is completely integral to the fabric of the skirt which gives such a beautiful flow up and down the back of the dress.
Then they go and top it off with a big don’t-mess-with-me bow! All this, and it’s entirely made of cotton so you can just chuck it in the washing machine when you get back from your swishy do! It feels amazing to wear pure cotton in summer, so imagine how smug and cool you’ll feel while all around you are sweltering in man-made fibres! 😉
Before World War II, Horrockses manufactured printed cottons for the thriving home dressmaking industry. In the 1950s, with a demand for affordable ready-to-wear pieces in the wake of Dior’s New Look, they started producing their own collections of daydresses, eveningwear and beachwear. In the era of rationing, cotton was cheap, durable and easy to work with. Their prints were vibrant, modern and fun!
Oh! how do I love thee, Horrockses….let me count the ways!Thank you for cheering up Britain’s post-war women with your affordable, wearable, and utterly gorgeous cotton frocks! Thank you for enabling British women to have enormous full skirts during rationing! Thank you for making them in hard-wearing cotton. We salute you!