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Thursday 1 September 2011

Beautiful bedding: Horrockses Fashions

Cast your mind back and you may remember my enthusiasm for Horrockses Fashions: a ready-to-wear label famed for its fabulous floral frocks, dating to the 1940s and '50s. Back then, the V&A launched a range of products inspired by their designs and now, proof that a good pattern never dates, another company has launched a range of bedlinens that also draws from the Horrockses archive. If you picture your bedroom as being pretty, rather than sexy, with fresh flowers on your bedside table (even if in reality you haven't made the bed and your bedside table is decorated with old coffee cups), this is the bedding range for you.

This design is called Martha. I like to think of her as being quite prim and proper - there would be no naughty shenanigans taking place under Martha. In fact, to live up to that incredibly girly pattern, you'd probably have to sleep in an eyemask and rollers (and make calls to your girlfriends on one of these phones).

Perhaps more suited to twenty-first century life is the colourful Eletta. Eletta has a great story behind it - it's named after a lady who owned a dress featuring this pattern and wore it in a beauty pageant in Italy. Bellissimo!

My favourite and possibly most partner friendly design is Alice. Prices for all the designs are roughly equivalent to what you'd expect to pay in John Lewis: £60 for a double duvet.

If you don't want to go the full way with the vintage look, there are also some great cushions available, such as this British Isles design. This pattern was originally used on a dress in the 1940s - I'd kill for that now. In the meantime I can buy the cushion for £35.

And, finally, here's Bunty, based on some Fifties Horrockses advertising. So sweet and, again £35.

So what do you make of the Horrockses range? There are some lovely pieces but I think you'll need to tread carefully in what you pick, and how you accessorize it, otherwise the vintage look will tip over into looking a bit granny. Get the balance right though and your room should be a floral delight.

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