I love surface pattern design of the era bracketed by post-WWII to the mid 1960s. Whether for fashion or interiors, the designs tend to be bold, and sometimes even a little quirky to our sensibilities. A major influence during this time was the Festival of Britain, 1951. Horrockeses Fashions launched in 1946, so is placed squarely in the era I so admire. As I am also an anglophile, maybe it's a little surprising that I hadn't clocked onto the iconic British brand until recently. This lovely book from V&A Publishing is great fun for connoisseurs of both post-WWII fashion, and surface pattern. Wasp waists and crinolines abound, all fabricated in Horrockeses Fashions' unique textiles, which came to set trends in the industry.
From the beginning, textile design was intended as an important factor in Horrockses Fashions' success. While they purchased a majority of designs from outside studios, they also hired in-house designers. I was not familiar with names like Marny Tickle, Alastair Morton and Joyce Badrocke.
Pat Albeck maybe a more familiar name. (She continued to design almost right up until her recent death.) She worked in-house at Horrockses Fashions from 1953 to 1958. She designed some of their often-imitated bayadere (floral stripe) designs. But more importantly - and unusually for the industry, Pat collaborated closely with Horrockses Fashions clothing designers with specific garments in mind. This collaboration produced some unexpected results, like lobsters accompanied by flowers and butterflies. The sheer quirkiness of pineapples and roses in combination makes me smile!
With it's combination of retro fashion and fabulous surface pattern designs, this book is a worthy addition to any surface pattern design library.