Horrockses Fashions: Off the Peg in the 40s and 50s

Exciting news for those of you as predictable as me: the Horrockses exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum is opening tomorrow!

Horrockses Fashion was launched as a subsidiary to Horrockses Cottons in 1946. At the time, the Cotton Board was really pushing cotton as a dressmaking fabric – the austere rationing of the war years lingered long after 1945, and encouraging shoppers to avoid silks and rayon was less fashion choice, more lifestyle change. Cotton had previously been seen as a cheapo option – not really something the stylish lady about town would be interested in. Still, when all your silk has been used for parachutes, what you gonna do about it?

Against the odds, Horrockses’ printed designs soon became popular – largely thanks to some clever marketing involving glamorous film stars of the era and, of course, some really beautiful prints.

If full skirts, chintz and vintage fashion are up your street, I suggest you pay a visit to this drool-enducing exhibition, curated by author and design historian Dr Christine Boydell.

Horrockses Fashions: Off the Peg in the 40s and 50s is in from 9 July to 24 October at the Fashion and Textiles Museum. They also have some great lectures and activities planned – find out more at their website.

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