Starting with the pale pink of peonies for the walls, Kaffe Fassett built a room of mosaic and flower patterns. Inside the arch: a bed with Gazebo sheets from the new Horrockses’ Wamsutta range. Oriental carpets from Franses of Piccadilly. Strips of mosaic pattern from Sanderson wallpapers. Paintings, needlework cushion by Kaffe Fassett. The shower cubicle, Tahiti by Leisure, a surprise in a bedroom, but it fits. Horrockses’ towels. Porcelain pots, shells and shell boxes, cane and lacquer furniture. Patchwork quilts.
Have you ever had that feeling, that tight feeling in your chest when you think about all the various things you are required to do in a short space of time. It paralyses you, and makes the situation ten times worse. I suffer from this unnamed syndrome. Sometimes it causes me to be a bit behind in updating my website. I would hate for anyone to think that I’m lazy or too busy living some incredible jet-setting lifestyle. I mean, I would like to be doing the latter, who wouldn’t? But the truth is more boring than that.
Anyway, this week has somehow generated a flurry of website listings, and I thought I ought to share them with you. They include: a very, very rare piece of Bus Stop history in the form of a bright pink felt hat, an incredible Annacat prised from my personal collection in an attempt to regain control of my living space (this ambition is perpetually unfulfilled), an adorable printed cotton Horrockses dress, one of the most fabulous John Bates dresses I’ve seen and a super sexy emerald green lurex halter top by Mary Quant. But that’s just the big guns. There’s plenty of other pieces to tempt your tastebuds (I hope).
early Sixties Wallis Shops waffle-textured cotton sheath dress
early Seventies printed cotton Vivien Smith tea dress
early Seventies emerald green lurex halter top by Mary Quant
early Seventies fitted jacket in an incredible bold floral print mid Sixties hot pink and gold shot matelasse shift dress
late Fifties floral and stripe printed cotton sundress by Horrockses
early Seventies maxi dress with unusual cross-stitch print bodice by John Bates for Jean Varon
Late Sixties psychedelic maxi dress by Annacat
early Seventies lime green high-waisted flares by Simon Massey
Because I don’t want any of you to miss out, I would just like to point out a few gems I have over on eBay at the moment. There’s John Bates, Janice Wainwright, Frank Usher, Mr Freedom, Horrockses, Miss Mouse….and those are only the labelled pieces. There are also some gorgeous little gems without designer attribution but with a whole lot of style and appeal. Please do go check them out, while I carry on with some new website listings….oh yeah, much MUCH more to come!! Keep ’em peeled….
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!