Sunday, 2 January 2011

More from 2010: Horrockses

Amongst the selection of fabulous exhibitions I visited last year was the Horrockses Fashion at the FTM, the wonderful, intimate venue in Bermondsey.
For those of you who haven't come across the company the museum was highlighting, Horrockses Fashion Limited was a ready-to-wear manufacturer of fashionable, mid-market clothing in the 1950s.

Although they were mass-manufactured, the dresses were well designed, wearable and made from wonderful, uniquely designed textiles.
The exhibition was small, yet packed in a huge amount of interesting and colourful artefacts, including actual garments, original designs, signage, advertising and fabric samples as well as some ephemera donated by the public. There was a wall showcasing personal black and white snaps of glamourous 1950s young ladies donning the stunning sundresses.
A fabulous fact discovered in the fascinating exhibition literature was that the company came into its own just as Britons began to holiday abroad, as the lightweight, prettily patterned cotton dresses and sun suits were perfect warm weather attire.
I loved everything about this exhibition and found the beachwear and sundresses still eminently wearable. In fact, continuing my New Years Resolutions theme for these posts, I have my eye on a couple of the designs to try to recreate myself.
This must be the year I conquer my sewing machine, if only to benefit my first beach holiday in years, as I am not a typical beach holiday dresser. I think that I've mentioned before that I have what I like to call an 'English Rose' complexion - snow white and freckly! This means that in the sun I will inevitably eschew the short shorts and teeny bikinis for swathes of cotton, a huge floppy hat and oversized sunnies. (I like to think I look enigmatic and glamourous sitting under the parasol, rather than an eccentric recluse - think Joan Collins rather than Miss Havisham). These voluminous skirts will fit in perfectly with my alternative holiday wardrobe...wish me luck!


Lyn said...

Oh to have a waist that small! I love this look and wish you luck with your new beach look!

claire montgomerie said...

i am pondering whether my waist is a bit too straight up and down for these - but maybe they will give me some shape!
thanks lyn. x