Vintage bedroom makeover for old favourite Horrockses

PUBLISHED: 15:55 01 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:55 20 February 2013

The new bed linen using Horrockses designs

The new bed linen using Horrockses designs

Prints by former Preston label Horrockses have been transformed into a vintage bedroom collection. Barbara Waite reports

We never grow tired of good design and a prime example is Horrockses, the Preston label once worn by the young Queen Elizabeth II.


When we recently featured a book celebrating the companys history, Lancashire Life was inundated with letters from people who used to work there and women who had fond memories of wearing their clothes.


Now, the vintage revival has resulted in pretty floral prints from Horrockses being transformed into a fresh-as-a-daisy bedroom collection. Old fashioned they may be, but theyre at the forefront of this cool revival.


For Sarah Williamson, the design and brand development manager for Horrockses Fashions now based in Manchester, the last year has been something of an adventure. The publication of the book by Oldham-born fashion historian Christine Boydell, and the Horrockses exhibition at Londons Fashion and Textile Museum last year alongside the trend for vintage made it seem like the right time for the launch, she said.


We wanted to stay loyal to the original fabric and designs of the 40s and 50s and it has made the team think in a new way. Design is now computer-generated and the way dresses are structured is very different too. Its been a fantastic journey discovering the whole history of the brand.


Helping them in their quest was the team at the Harris Museum in Preston which has a vast archive of Horrockses dresses as well as packaging and marketing material from the companys heyday.


The launch was timed to coincide with the three-day Vintage Festival at Southbank in London run by Morecambe-born Wayne Hemingway and his wife Geraldine, and Horrockses had their own shop on the pop-up high street, which consisted of 250 stalls.


Wayne is a huge fan of the brand, said Sarah who lives in Bolton. He was really excited about the launch. The designs are now in House of Fraser stores and will be phased into independent retailers in the north west and then countrywide.


he return of the iconic 40s and 50s textile and dressmaker Horrockses brought a quintessentially British look to the festival as all the team in the shop were wearing specially-made Horrockses frocks and there was a band of skilled seamstresses on hand to show visitors how to make their own dresses from the new bedlinen based on original styles.


Owners of original dresses were invited to be photographed and take part in a catwalk show.

Your stories

Horrockses Fashions would love to hear your stories and see the dresses and patterns you have stored away and who knows they may influence their next designs.

Contact them by post at 5 Universal Square, Devonshire Street, Manchester M12 6JH or at www.horrocksesfashions.co.uk or send a tweet to @sarahhorrockses

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