Dress, Horrockses

Dress, Horrockses

Dress
Horrockses Fashion
About 1955
England
Printed cotton
Museum no. T.639:1 to 3-1996
Worn and given by Mrs Elizabeth Payze

Horrockses’ cotton dresses, with their brightly coloured prints and full gathered skirts, were a fashion success story for the post-war period. Horrockses was a large cotton manufacturing firm, founded in Preston in 1791, known for weaving high quality household cottons. In 1946 they launched Horrockses Fashions Limited, a subsidiary company making ready-to-wear dresses, housecoats and beachwear, with a headquarters in London's Hanover Square. The success of the firm was due to the quality of the design of the vibrant printed cottons, often commissioned from artists, combined with advanced production methods, which maintained the crisp cotton despite frequent washes.

Dresses from Horrockses Fashions appealed to women of different ages and social backgrounds as the perfect summer dress. They were relatively expensive and were popular with members of the Royal Family - but working women would save up to buy one, often as a honeymoon outfit. This example was worn by Elizabeth Payze as a teenager.