Stories from Discover Preston

Horrockses Fashions dress

Horrockses Fashions dress, 1950s

World famous Preston cotton manufacturers, Horrockses, launched a ready-made fashion label in 1946 which became a popular fashion brand in the 1950s. Their dresses were worn by the Queen and Princess Margaret and featured in top fashion magazines.

Horrockses Fashions’ success was based on their use of quality cotton fabrics, cutting-edge textile designs and dress styles based on the latest catwalk fashions.

The London-based design team, led by John Tullis, ensured the dresses were beautifully styled and cut from an extraordinary range of printed fabrics. The fabric was ‘DGS503’, a high-quality cotton sheeting made in Preston, which was robust, soft and draped well, and withstood regular washing.  

Horrockses Fashions acquired exclusive use of designs by leading British artists including Eduardo Paolozzi, Alastair Morton, Graham Sutherland and Pat Albeck. Horrockses also used their fashion brand to sell sheets and towels, with adverts making clever reference to the dresses.

This dress is by Paolozzi and was acquired for the Harris collection with the assistance of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Art Fund and Friends of the Harris.

[Logos: V&A, Art Fund and Friends]

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