Time for a bitter of wintery vintage

I’m just about to head out for an afternoon in London (Meeting up with some of my friends from Leeds for a catch up in Camden, followed by fireworks in Bethnal Green this evening), but had 15 minutes to kill before I need to leave, so thought I would take a few quick snaps of my outfit today.


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I’m wearing one of my failsafe (and very few that I actually own) winter vintage dresses, this one is by Marie Phillips (I also wore it in this post from absolutely yonks ago– looking at this post again is making me wish I had long hair again!). It is such a comfy dress to wear. I am wearing it with Russell and Bromley black patent brogues (that cost the princely sum of £10 from ebay) and one of my favourite Tatty Devine necklaces.


As you can see in this close up I have a rather nice new lipstick, the colour is “red hot” by Clinique. I actually saw someone with it on Instagram, and had to have it despite the fact that this meant having to get it shipped from the States!



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To finish off the outfit I am wearing a black Warehouse coat that must be about 4 or 5 years old by now and my bag is a Caro Nan box bag with playing cards painted on it. I love ANYTHING playing cards, but this is particularly fun.

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Do you know anything about these brands?

This post follows on from my previous post on the Vogue Book of British exports. Again, it is a plea for help with my Masters research into the “Model House Group” and “Fashion House Group”. Since I have been writing this blog I have had quite a number of people contacting me as they are the children/ grandchildren of designers whom i have mentioned on my blog. Therefore I am hoping that I might just strike lucky again…

I am currently researching into a number of key British Ready-to-Wear companies (“model” houses) who were in operation in the 40s and 50s. If anyone has any interesting titbits (or owns garments by the following brands) that are pre-1965 please let me know! I am primarily interested in pieces that date from ’45 to around ’65.  In brackets I have put the brands “diffusion” lines that I am also interested in/ who the designer/ owner was. I will be posting more about my research, and what I’m up to over the next few months, but this is just me after some help by my lovely readers.

– Frederick Starke, Mr Starke is my primary concern…I’ve actually become really rather obsessed with this man! (Also Fredrica and Starke of London)

-Brenner Sports

-Mary Black

– Dorville (Olive O’Neill- designer Rose and Blairman was the parent company) (also Corvette)

-Koupy  (Chas Kuperstein)

-Elizabeth Henry

-Marcus (Marcusa) (Wanda and Otto Marcus)

-Jersey company

-Matita (Mr Adler was the owner)

-Rima (also Atrima)

-Silhouette de luxe

-Simon massey

-Susan Small  (Leslie Carr-Jones and Christopher Carr-Jones)

-Spectator sports

-Verner Vogue

For reference here are just a few ad’s from these companies. I’ve been lucky enough to go through EVERY British Vogue between 1945 and 1961, so this is where these come from. I am now just wading through the export magazine Ambassador too.

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Mary Black September 1953

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Matita June 1954

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Brenner sports September 1953

I’m particularly interested if anyone OUTSIDE the UK had garments by these brands, as the Model House Group’s primary function was to promote export of goods. So yes, If YOU have any information on any of these brands or garments from pre 1965 just drop me an email liztregenza@hotmail.com

More Horrockses delights

In the past few weeks I’ve done what can only be described as “a bit of a whoops” and purchased quite a few more Horrockses. This always seems to happen when I sell a few, that a sudden flurry of the beauties come into my collection.

So first off a quick share of my three most recent purchases:

This little number is erm. Not so little! Uber glamorous late 50s cocktail dress which came from Emma Hasell also a HUGE collector of Horrockses.

This one came from found and loved in Cheshire Street, just off Brick lane. I’ve been picking up some good pieces up in Brick Lane again recently after finding everything hugely overpriced for a while prices seem to have calmed down rather. (I can’t remember exactly what I paid but I think it was £40!)

I nicked this picture of me in the dress from Found and Loved instagram.

And my piece de resistance was this Horrockses. It has to come in my top 5 best Horrockses, partially because the print is fantastic and partially because it has a brilliant story. The dress came to me via The Vintage Emporium (just off Brick Lane) and thanks to my ever wonderful friend Naomi Thompson. As soon as I saw the picture on her iphone I HAD to have it, and had a hunch it was an important piece.

For fellow Horrockses obsessives a quick close up look at the print shows you that the dress has clear hallmarks of Alistair Morton, who was a print designer working with Horrockses particularly in the late 40s. The sketchy exuberant take he had on floral patterns helped to move them away from being just florals and into something more abstracted, less twee and with a greater focus on creating “art fabrics” rather than just textiles for dress. The finely drawn flowers seen in these close ups show striking similarities to another of my dresses by him, dating to 1950. But this one, with its printed label is just a little earlier.

The dress with its longer length and slight off the shoulder style has hallmarks of a late 1940s design and that it is, dating to 1948. Rather fortuitously I remembered the dress had appeared in a slightly different colourway at the Horrockses exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum back in 2010.

Not only did the dress appear in the exhibition, but there were also Morton’s original sketches and colourways for the print on display. These had been lent for the exhibition by Abbott Hall where the majority of the Edinburgh Weavers archive is held.

There is one last detail about the dress though that takes it from the realms of “special” to “super special”

Yep. That’s Queen Mary holding the corner of a dress in the same print as mine. The image comes from 1948 when Queen Mary visited the Horrockses headquarters on Hannover square. Pretty special right?

Now to go and hunt out the 1948 Vogues to see if I can find it there at all too!