Tuesday, 26 October 2010

it had to be horrockses

i recently had a lovely afternoon looking at old photos with my granny. granny brown had so many beautiful printed dresses, of those she hadn't made herself a few special pieces were horrockses. horrockses fashions was established in 1946 as a ready-to-wear women's wear brand and encompassed day, evening and beach wear. horrockses were particularly clever with marketing, regularly advertising in vogue (at the time filled with couture) and being worn by well known models and many in the royal family. dresses were covered in distinctive prints, designed by contemporary artist such as eduardo paolozzi and graham sutherland.
i visited the horrockses exhibition at the fashion and textiles museum (which if you miss look out for the book written by the exhibitions curator christine boydell) filled with great examples from the archives. i particularly liked the bikini and play suits and of course the beautiful prints, my favorites including a green and yellow banana print and crazy 50's atomic styles.

an illustrated fashion advertisement, vogue june 1949

hand painting in the design studio

princess margaret in her horrockses dress 1956. fabric designed by louise le brocquy

Monday, 11 October 2010

harry and mike

after learning about navajo weaving i read about a pioneering couple. harry and mike goulding founded a trading post in monument valley during the 1920's. trading woven wool blankets and artifacts with the navajo's linking them to the rapidly changing world. during the late 30's harry and mike travelled to los angeles to meet with film director john ford. many films were subsequently shot in the navajo reserve including the western 'stagecoach' staring john wayne and claire trevor.

john wayne and claire trevor starring in stagecoach 1938

harry trading with a navajo woman wearing a pendelton blanket

Friday, 8 October 2010

navajo weaving

a few weeks ago i was lent an amazing book about monument valley, containing these great photos of navajo weaving.
blankets and rugs were woven in wool, coloured using natural dyes (later substituted for modern dyes to allow greater range of colour). navajo weaving is highly distinctive and certain patterns can be used to trace the time and place an item was woven.
blankets have a particular importance to the navajo population. used both every day and ceremonially, they also hold value and were used for trading. in 1909 pendleton woolen mills manufactured their own trading blankets which were sold to the navajo people. pendleton designer joe rawnsley researched colours and patterns popular to tribes. these were then translated using modern weaving techniques.
the pendleton blankets were highly prized, the last photo show a navajo woman wearing a pendleton blanket in the 1940's.