SAILORETTE'SVintage Life & Style

Confronting Culture vs. The Kids Are Alright: Horrockses Fashions at Fashion & Textile Museum London

Good evening, and welcome (once more) to my little retro and vintage loving corner of the internet.
This time, and catching up with delayed notes I had kept to update you with, I bring you my review of the Horrockses Fashions exhibition in the new Fashion and Textile Museum London which the above video introduces and I was lucky enough to visit.
What I had read in their website had left me curious and willing, explaining the contents as follow.

9 July 2010 - 28 October 2010 
"Horrockses Fashions Limited was the manufacturer of one of the most well-respected ready-to-wear labels of the 1940s and 1950s. The company are best known for their full-skirted dresses which were sought after by women everywhere and were even worn by Queen Elizabeth II. Although they were produced in considerable quantities, the firm maintained an air of exclusivity for the brand, with an emphasis on good quality fabrics with custom-designed patterns and fashion styling with Parisian couture overtones. The colourful prints will provide a visual feast for visitors to the exhibition, which focuses on the range of the firm's production, from glamorous evening dresses, to vibrant summer frocks and sophisticated housecoats and beachwear. It will follow the story of the Horrockses dress from initial fabric and fashion design, to production, promotion and consumption."
Opening hours and booking plus more information in source.
You'll have to pardon my photography skills, they may not do the exhibition justice but that'd be just one more reason to visit in person, wouldn't it?
The novelty of the museum didn't compromise its quality, much on the contrary - even from outside everything was flawless to the last detail, from the well constructed, informative website, to the cafe and lounge space and museum shop where you could drink a cup of tea whilst browsing through the exhibition's catalogue, or buy museum merchandise along with new designers' accessories and other affordable pieces.
Walking through to the till/help desk, the staff was friendly and, curiously, dressed accordingly to the exhibition - how cute! Surprised at the affordability of the ticket (which was £3,50) I'd walk in to find beautiful dresses and framed fabric samples surrounded by a myriad of books, pictures and antique advertisements (which I couldn't take more pictures of due to my camera's bad lighting response) and a very well thought out two stories wide tour any visitor could make by themselves by reading the explanations and looking at the solidly based, gorgeous visual information provided.
It's astonishing how the clothes, paired with the right information, can almost transport you to the era's socio-economical setting and the everyday life and challenges of a 1940s/1950s lady. Here are my pictures, to leave a hint of what you'll find upon visiting.

Advertisement featuring the british movie
star Diana Decker wearing Horrockses

Patricia Roc, another film star
serves advertising duty
Picture Post Article May
 1947 Page 1
Picture Post Article May
 1947 Page 2

Picture Post Article May
 1947 Page 3

1946 collection ad
Spring 1949, Pamela Patience's stardom
timeframe at the brand's advertisements

1949 collection ad featuring 
star Pamela Patience again
Flick star Carol Marsh sporting
Horrockses' luxurious cotton frocks.

First impressions - printed cotton day dresses

First impressions - more printed cotton day dresses
Spring 1948 Collection
Artists Designers - these fashion designers also
drew prints and did multiple roles at Horrockses
Search of the Sun - They couldn't forsake
ladies' need for summer fun in their designs.
Fashion and Styling - they introduced
new styles, cuts and fits in their lines.
From Kitchen to Office - always on the look
for the market and consumers' needs.
Glamorous evenings - trading cotton for
velvet or satin gowns and night robes.
Looking through some pictures made me remember how wonderful an experience this exhibition was for me, representing a whole new experience in comparison to what I've seen in Lisbon's Fashion and Design Museum, and here and there.
I truly hope I can visit soon, who knows if when their next exhibition opens. Until then, I'll keep my opinion of this first contact with the Fashion and Textile Museum London - it was undoubtedly amazing to see these pieces of fashion history in person, specially this well organised and contextualised in academic study and era sources! The link between the post war scenario and the way designers and marketers responded to it, creating a sort of inexpensive and endurable couture that wouldn't lose status or look in time, and still make it a desireable season item any employed lady would want to spend her wage on by printing cotton dresses designed for exquisite fit and detail and advertising it accordingly using the times' film stars' images.

Meanwhile, I have more and more up and coming reviews, you know where to go for your fresh fix of all things girly and vintage, just don't forget to keep up with the blog's Facebook & Twitter!

Mafalda xox

1 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

go, go, girl !

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Thank you for your comments & feedback!
Mafalda xox