Saturday, 1 August 2009
Horrockses Fashions; The 40s
Spring 1948. Click for bigger picture.
Horrockses Fashions Ltd a subsidiary of Horrockses Cottons was set up in April 1946. At this time the Cotton Board was heavily promoting cotton as a fashion material, it had been seen very much as a poor relation to silk, linen and rayon in the 30s. Most fashion houses were including some cotton dresses in their collections in the immediate post-war years.
Carol Marsh star of Brighton Rock. Click for bigger picture.
Patricia Roc British Movie Star promotes Horrockses Fashions Spring 1947. See Picture Post scan below. Click for bigger picture.
As far as I can work out the first collection of Horrockses ready-to-wear was available in April 1947. The publicity emphasised the glamour of cotton and various film stars were employed to advertise the frocks.
Picture Post Article May 1947 Page 1. Click for bigger picture.
Picture Post Article May 1947 Page 2. Click for bigger picture.
Picture Post Article May 1947 Page 3. Click for bigger picture.
The fabric designs were very modern, the designers including Alastair Morton, Betty Newmarch, Martha Pirn and John Tullis visited the Paris collections to see the latest fashions. Alastair Morton's designs had many stylised flowers and horizontal stripes, a style which lasted well into the 50s. The success of the designs soon had other dress manufacturers making copies.
Horrockses dresses were made up at Ivy Mill Manchester where Kurt Lowit transfered the paper designs onto fabric. It wasn't only the designs on the fabric that made Horrockses dresses specail but also the quality of the cotton and the finish to make them crisp and easily ironed. Design details such as bows on sleeves which could be undone and ironed flat also appealed to the customer.
1948-ish dress, this may be a Horrockses fabric but the label in the dress is 'Atlantic Regd' I rescued the dress from a skip a few years ago.