Bye bye 2013

I’ve always liked posts that look back upon the year in retrospect,  and these are always a favourite on my friends blogs, when I look back and think; I remember that! And also because I think it is really positive to be reflective about what you have achieved in a year so that you can you go forward into the new year. I’ve written posts like these in the past, both in 2012 and 2011 too and looking back on them now I find them an amusing, although positive read.

Owing to the fact that a lot of the things I have done this year I am not really allowed to talk about (this sounds very cryptic, its mostly to do with museums/ talks and writing though!) So instead I thought I would do it a bit differently this year with a series of pictures that I feel summed up important events this year.

January: I started the year in style in a full length Horrockses dress with four of my favourite ladies.


February: I can’t remember much from February, but here’s me and my darling friend Holly at a VM night!


March: I went back to my high school for the second time in the space of a few months to talk careers to current students.


My Grandma turned 70, it was a very special day to have so many of the Thompson side of the fam together.


April: Design History did Berlin.


I spent a lot of April like this, feeling pretty stressed.


May: Tasha was tribe bride number 1, which meant a trip for all of our group of girl friends to Ireland and what a sensational bride she was.


June: Glastonbury was an absolute highlight with some of my favourites from Leeds. We are doing it all again next year for the third time (even if I have to go on the Friday owing to my graduation!)


July: My lovely friend Nikki was tribe bride number two. This time closer to home in Wimbledon and just as special : )


I went to a Ball at Kensington palace and finally had a chance to wear THIS dress.


August: I turned 23. Caro rescued me. This is a theme of 2013. I’ve had a few emotional wobbles this year for various reasons and had a pretty bad one around my birthday, thankfully I had Caro there to sort me out. She really is a friend in a million.


September: I seemed to spend a lot of September going out if I’m perfectly honest…Quiet a few times with this lovely lady ; )


And I worked here rather a lot too…


October: I bought a lot of vintage for one top secret project, and also a lot of magazines for my masters reseach, which ended up being super useful.


I wore this for something rather special. I’m not going to get soppy, so I’ll just put a ; ).


It’s also one of the most popular posts on my instagram…

November: Naomi and I played with my Mum’s extensive jewellery collection for something that you will be hearing a lot more about come 2014.


December: I spent most of my time like this owing to my intelligently broken foot.


Roll on 2014 when hopefully I will be able to talk more about the projects I have been working on!

An Australian Horrockses

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As is made clear from many of the posts on this blog I really love Horrockses, and more than that I love the volume of historical detail out there than can be found out about the designs of the brand. My latest addition to the collection is an impressive and interesting one, and has made it all the way to the UK from Australia. I’ve had Horrockses from all over the world, but never Australia before, and never a special Australian made Horrockses.


The dress was made exclusively in Australia by ‘Californian productions ltd.’ Horrockses were not the only brand that this company made up, as the label attached to the dress suggests they also “made up” garments in Australia by a number of American firms. I have quite a lot of pieces by both Cole of California and betty Barclay (my best 50s playsuit with matching skirt is a cole of California number). It appears California productions were making up garments by good quality ready-to-wear brands.


It is interesting to note that whilst the swing ticket gives details relating to Australia, the interior label is the same as the British made Horrockses. On the other hand,  when examining the interior construction one can tell that the making up of this dress is slightly different to the Horrockses made in England, as it has overlocking. None of my other Horrockses from this date are overlocked, my later ones, yes, but not those of the mid fifties.



The dress too has its original tag (as you can see above), which has left me in something of a moral dilemma. The tag is attached loosely to the belt. The question is therefore, do I wear it or not? The dress is a perfect fit on me and I feel like I have the angel and devil upon my shoulder. The museum professional in me is saying ‘how can you wear an unworn mint condition 1950s dress’, whilst the vintage wearer in me is saying ‘it’s a perfect fit, why on earth not!’.

I was also very excited to be able to trace the design, not only the print designer but the fashion designer too. The print itself is by Pat Albeck, and features on her website where it is referred to as, ‘painted to look like a woven ribbon’; which explains why the design has an almost pixilated effect to it. The garment was designed by Betty Newmarch, and an original sketch of the dress can be seen in her sketch artists notebook from Summer 1955-6. Most of the other garments that I have been able to trace the original sketches of show slight variations, but this design is almost true to the original sketch with its swinging bow at the back, the only slight alteration being that mine has a sweetheart neckline, whereas the sketch shows a square neckline.



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A velvetty vintage christmas dress

I’ve been a bit quiet here lately owing to a rather unfortunate injury. Back at the end of November I broke my foot, as you can see here!




But, that hasn’t stopped me from wearing very fun vintage outfits (you’ve got to accessorise an air cast somehow!) Last night it was my friend Tasha’s house warming/ christmas party and I decided to go full on christmassy with my outfit. The dress is a 1950s debutante dress and is by Marcel Fenez, the  label states ‘Creation de Paris’ which means it must be a copy of a Paris original.

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I wore the dress with some dangly 1950s earrings and a statement 60s bracelet. I also decided to do something a bit different with my hair yesterday (not that it lasted very long in the weather last night) partly owing to the fact I didn’t manage to curl it very evenly using my curlers (one day I will learn…one day!), but I quite like the effect it created.

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I’ll be back soon with more posts about some of my latest horrockses purchases!

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