Reviewed by Lizzie Bramlett – fuzzylizzie.com
Floral Frocks: A Celebration of the Floral Printed Dress from 1900 to Today
by Jo Turney and Rosemary Harden
(Antique Collectors’ Club, Ltd. ISBN-10: 185149538X )
From the 1920s through the end of the 20th century, the floral frock was an important player in the fashion scene. This book, Floral Frocks, explains the garment in the context of its times, from the 1920s when florals became a “fashion fabric,” to the hey-day of the 1950s Horrockses floral frock, to the 1970s Laura Ashley nostalgia-inspired frock.
The book is lavishly illustrated not only with views of the dresses, but also close-ups of the prints. There are also numerous period photographs of women in their floral frocks. Best of all is when we are given both – the frock as it is displayed today and the vintage photo of the original owner wearing it.
Floral Frocks was published as a companion book to an exhibit of the newly renamed Fashion Museum in Bath UK. The book and exhibit are thus based on what was worn in the United Kingdom in the 20th century, but I found that the observations made by the authors also applied to my experiences here in the USA. Part of the appeal of the exhibit, the book, and of floral frocks is that so many people can identify with this garment, either as a wearer of the floral frock or as someone who associates the floral frock with a loved one or with an experience in his or her own life.