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Summer dress & jacket

Summer dress & jacket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Horrockses Fashions (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Corinne Dawson

  • Museum number:

    T.11:1 to 3-1997

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Full-skirted, brightly printed cotton dresses have become a by-word for 1950s fashion. Some of the best examples of this style were made by Horrockses. Their top-quality cotton fabrics retained their brightness and crispness despite frequent washing. The bold, lively prints were often designed by leading artists of the day. The combination of flowers and stripes seen in this example was particularly popular, and much copied by rival manufacturers. The dress was purchased with a matching bolero.

The Horrockses dress became an universal must-have, desired by women of all ages and social backgrounds. Whilst the dresses were relatively expensive, working women would save up to buy one for "best", usually as a honeymoon outfit. They were also worn by members of the royal family.

Physical description

White cotton dress printed with yellow stripes and yellow and orange rose floral print, and with a matching bolero jacket and belt.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1955 (made)


Horrockses Fashions (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed cotton

Object history note

This dress was given by the original owner and wearer, Corinne Dawson, in 1996 after her husband saw the V&A's appeal in The Financial Times for a Horrockses rose-printed dress to feature in the 'Cutting Edge' exhibition. The dress was described as closely resembling the image in the newspaper article, which was an advertisement from the Bon Marché department store in Liverpool. The donor also recollected seeing a picture of her dress featured in one of the magazines of the day, but could not remember which one. She thought it may have been Woman's Journal. Woman & Home or Woman's Own.

Descriptive line

Printed cotton summer dress, jacket and belt, designed by Horrockses Fashions, England, 1955


Cotton (textile)




Fashion; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Ready to wear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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