The tale of a showstopping wedding dress

Today I wanted to share with you one of my latest additions to my collection and a piece that I know will never leave me.

The dress in question is this stunning wedding dress. The dress date to 1948 and demonstrates the vogue in the UK for 30s styled bridal gowns in the late 1940s when the “new look” was still in its infancy. The dress features typical characteristics that replicate Hollywood style 30s glamour with its gently padded shoulder fishtail hem and slim sleeves.  The dress- to my mind- also has elements of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress,  with the shaping at the neckline and slim sleeves (I am sure she had a huge influence on wedding fashions seeing as she married just a year before this wedding dress was produced!)

                                                                    (apologies for the wonky pic, i was trying to show off the hem to its best advantage!)

This dress though is not just any old (beautiful) wedding dress. I recently acquired two pairs of beautiful platform 1940s shoes and this is actually the wedding dress of the same lady. You can read all about them here. This means that I now have her wedding ensemble dress, shoes and veil. I feel a certain sense of pride and happiness that i can keep the legacy of this evidently very stylish woman going by keeping the three elements of her wedding ensemble together. What I found amazing is that such glorious items could have been purchased on post war ration coupons. I imagine that she must have been a relatively wealthy lady to have afforded such beautiful shoes and dress, although she must have had to scrimp on other items of clothing to have enough coupons to buy the dress and shoes.
The original owner of the dress and shoes died in April and I hope that I can keep a little bit of her legacy going by keeping the items together. Whilst I don’t intend to wear the dress (despite it being a perfect fit) it really does demonstrate a certain vogue in wedding dress styles at the end of the 1940s and will still  be put into good use, as I will be taking it to talks with me in the near future.


40s Platform shoes- two of my best EVER purchases

This week I bought two of the most sensational pairs of shoes that I have possibly ever owned.
They are both amazing pairs of platform shoes, so I’ll start off with a little background about the platform shoe…
Platform shoes aren’t a fashion trend restricted to the 20th century, with examples existing of chopines (the forerunner of the platform) right back to the renaissance period, originally used as an overshoe or patten. Due to the fact that the “platform” was often made of wood or cork original examples do still survive.
Into the 20thcentury it was the 30s when the platform came back into fashion.
Vogue October 1938 “ It’s no sin to call a shoe clumsy, these days It’s a compliment. If you haven’t already worn a platform or wedge sole, do have a pair of two for autumn with this new thick look”.
Carmen Miranda was also a big influence on the popularity, she wore the shoes due to the fact she was a very diminutive 5ft and apparently she commissioned a pair from Ferragamo in 1936 and this was when the craze for platform really set in!
Ferragamo was an innovator with the variety of materials he used and his often art inspired designs.
Platforms remained popular throughout the 30s and 40s worn for day and evening wear. Especially during the war the style was popular due to the materials that could be used to make platforms (materials that were cheap and in supply like wood  and cork). Ferregamo was using cork from wine bottles for his shoes!
The cork wedge was particularly popular in America, supposedly by 1938 86% of all shoes had wedge soles in America.

Now onto my two pairs of shoes which are not only beautiful but also fit me like a dream.
First off this gorgeous red pair which date to 1949, these came with a pair of matching nylons to go with them, I adore these shoes so much,,such a chic colour! I spoke to my Grandmother about these yesterday and she remembers having a pair almost identical but in white in the late forties, if only she had kept them.

I know these date to 1949 because I have the original provenance for them, but a good way of dating shoes is peep toes. As, during the war it was rare to see shoes with peep toes as they were considered “dangerous”. Of course there are exceptions to this rule- but generally this is the case!. Meaning if you have a pair of CC41 peep-toe shoes they will probably be post-war examples.

This pair though are my super special “holy grail” pair and date to 1948. They were worn as the original owners wedding shoes, purchased with her post-war ration coupons (I’m such a sucker for a good story!). They are also by iconic brand Lotus, who regularly advertised in the pages of Vogue (pick up any 40s or 50s copy and you’ll probably see their gorgeous and quite expensive shoes gracing the pages!)

Why though are they a holy grail purchase?

 Years ago I saw another pair of these shoes in Hope and Harlequin in Brighton, but they weren’t for sale. My mum and I have spent over four years asking Louise the owner of the shop if she would sell them to no avail. Not only that but this very pair of shoes appear in the dictionary of fashion and fashion designers. So, I cant believe that I now have a pair of the very shoes that I always dreamed would be mine!
Hope you enjoyed my lovely new shoes. They certainly made me happy!

A trip into my collection: 5 new Horrockses purchases

Today is an opportunity for a sneaky peek into my personal collection. In the last few months I’ve gone a bit mad on Horrockses dresses, my collection has been pretty large for a while now, but within a short while I have added five more to my collection, all which add something a little different I feel.

This is Horrockses number one, and is probably the latest of all the Horrockses I bought. With this label it is most likely it dates to post 1958. I don’t normally buy Horrockses in this style although I thought a corduroy Horrockses was a must as dresses such as they often appeared in Vogue during the winter months.

Here is Horrockses number two and one I was particularly excited by. This little number is actually earlier than I ever normally buy Horrockses wise and predates the launch of Horrockses fashions in 1946. This dress infact combines two things I collect as it is also a CC41 dress. What is good about this dress therefore is it can be dates quite easily between 1942-1946. Although it predates Horrockses fashions it still has an iconic Horrockses print which makes it a great addition to my collection.

This is Horrockses number three and is so typical of my Horrockses collection in a wonderful biadere stripe design. This is almost certainly a mid 50s example. What I like about this is that it also has a Richard shops label demonstrating how Horrockses primarily sold through concessions in department stores.

                                                          (it has pockets yayyyyyy!!!!)

Horrockses number four and is probably the most show stopping of all I recently purchased. This is more of an evening dress, and what this really reminded me of was Matisse’s cut out designs.
This lovely dress was purchased from Scarlet vintage. Check out the website or visit the shop in Bath, AMAZING stock.

And finally Horrockses number five. At first this appears the most unremarkable of all the Horrockses I have purchased, but is infact probably the most important. This amazing example can be EXACTLY dated to 1953 as the dress was produced as a special souvenir for the coronation. If you look closely you can see “Elizabeth Regina 1953” printed all over this lovely dress. So not only is it a Horrockses, but with the Queen’s diamond jubilee coming up it is a highly relevant dress too.
I hope you all enjoyed a little outing into my collection!