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

q copy

Matita June 1954

h copy

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

Finding “real” dresses in Vogue

Last week I got down to a very important section of my research for my MA dissertation that involved looking at every copy of British Vogue from 1945 to 1960. I haven’t quite got through them all yet, but I have managed the bulk!

My research turned up some interesting ideas/ adverts that will feed into my dissertation but also some fascinating images relating to Horrockses. I’ve been fastidious with keeping a record of any dresses from my collection that were advertised in the magazine, but on this look through I turned up three images that relate to pieces I own.


First off this image

In this fashion sketch you can just about make out the giraffe print. I believe this is the same print that features on a dress from my personal collection. I had always suspected it dated between roughly 1952 and 1955, but this confirms that the dress dates to 1952. (featured in Vogue June 1952)

The caption reads as follows “Serene sightseer…gay, cool and appropriate all day in a red cotton print skirt, sleeveless black jersey, print scarf eith black reverse- wear it alternatively as a tiny shawl. By Horrockses, £7 19s.

I’ve seen the skirt version of this print in green before, so I am assuming this is what the editorial relates to.


And here is the dress itself! I will soon have some better pics of this dress (I had it photographed last week) but this is a quick snap of it I took before it was repaired.

You can see this dress in further posts here and here (I’m wearing it in the second of these posts, but I’ll be honest I was feeling a *tad* worse for wear when these pictures were taken!)

And here is another dress I turned up in Vogue.


Here is the original editorial.


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Here is the dress. I think the print is probably by Graham Sutherland. Sadly my example of this print has seen better days, the fabric under the arms is very thin, and perhaps beyond repair…if anyone thinks it can be tackled though do give me a shout. I’ve actually had this dress around 4 years now but have never shared it on the blog before owing to its poor condition.

Scan 5

Interestingly you can see that the print also features in the Horrockses book, although you only see a tiny sliver of the fabric in the book, which does not even slightly convey how exciting the print is in reality. I think this whole design must have been an exclusive for Liberty because both the book and Vogue state it as an exclusive despite the two dress designs being slightly different.

And finally do you remember my excitement after I purchased this number the other week?



Well, I found this featured in Vogue too! (sorry about my bra straps in the second picture, eugh, pet hate).


Here it is featured in february 1954. It was priced at 4gns, which for a Horrockses was actually very cheap (most were 6gns minimum) I have to admit that the construction of this one isn’t as good as many of my other Horrockses aree, which maybe accounts as to why the price was much lower.

Tatler, Twiggy and some swoon worthy bicycles

Whilst on the phone to a friend of mine last weekend we started discussing the current cover of Tatler.
This is the cover, featuring Tali Lennox riding a bike wearing a fabulous sixties style dress by Louis Vuitton.
The dress on the catwalk in October
The image was instantly recognisable, its inspiration had clearly been a Twiggy photograph that I knew well dating to 1967.
I thought I should therefore delve a little further into the background behind this picture, and the shoot it came from.
First off this image did NOT appear in the original shoot. Despite being one of the most instantly recognisable images of Twiggy this was not published in the original Vogue shoot.
Below are the images that WERE published.
This shoot, as seen in the June 1967 issue of Vogue was when Twiggy was at the height of her career. The shoot’s name is “Young Ideas shorts supply”.  In the shoot she is seen riding through Pall Mall on a series of different swoon worthy bikes and mopeds.
The moped seen here is a 1967 Raleigh Mist. This is an example of this type of moped.

She is also seen riding another Raleigh bike; after doing a little research in the Raleigh catalogue from 1967 I would assume this is a Raleigh Sprite.

A Raleigh Sprite as published in the 1967 catalogue for Raleigh 
I was also interested by the photographer Ronal Traeger. He was an American photographer whom i had never previously come across. I was interested to find that he died just a year after this series was photographed in 1968. In his short career the images he is most famous for were mostly those he took of Twiggy- particularly in the year 1967, and for capturing “Swinging London” in both Elle and Vogue. 
Cecil Beaton later stated of Ronald Traeger that ‘he was well on the way to becoming one of the most brilliant photographers of today’.
So there we go! A deeper delve into a very interesting Twiggy shoot!