I was having a mooch last weekend on the lovely Vix's online emporium of gorgeous vintage delights aka: Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique when I saw this stunning Horrockses Fashions blouse, full of vibrant colours and flowery-ness. It didn't just say 'Buy Me' it damn well shouted it out! So without any hesitation dear reader, I brought it.
Funnily enough, I drove up to Preston in Lancashire late last year (home to both Horrockses Fashions and its parent company Horrockses Crewdson & Company Limited) to see family and also visit the city's Harris Museum. I wanted to do a bit of research for an article I was writing and knew that the museum has a permanent display about the company's history and also a collection of Horrockses Fashions garments. Coincidentally, the museum was holding an exhibition at the time showcasing some Horrockses dresses and also a very important discovery.
This discovery turned out to be a cache of Horrockses Fashion's textile and dress designs that had been hidden away for decades. It included many 'new' textile designs that even the museum's fashion curator wasn't aware of; all catalogued in a series of books that included for each design: a fabric swatch, a pencil sketch of the garment it was intended for and a studio photo of the dress sample. Something as rare as this has a commercial value so no doubt plenty of people would have been interested in it for the textile designs alone; however luckily for textile and fashion history fans and last but not least Preston's local history, this precious collection is now in the safe hands of the Harris Museum - where it belongs.
I found the exhibition fascinating and the detail in the pencil sketches was amazing, although my photos don't do them justice as it was a bit tricky trying to take them without the glare from the lighting obscuring the shot. However, enjoy the selection below and if you're ever in the area I can definitely recommend a visit to the Harris Museum.
(P.S. If you want another reason to visit Preston, it also has superb charity shops too as I found to my joy....here)