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Liverpool’s bespoke dressmaking trade was at its height between 1870 and the 1930s and at its center was Bold Street which was known as the “Bond Street of the North” due to its high quality shops. Dorothy Rimmer was born in 1895 and lived in St Helen’s near Liverpool with her family. By 1911, she was an apprentice dressmaker.

According to the Liverpool street directories – published annually by Gore’s and with the gracious help of Pauline Rushton, Senior Curator with one of the National Museums of Liverpool – the earliest directory dating from 1912 lists Dorothy Rimmer as a dressmaker based at 21 Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, an area in which many dressmakers were located during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1914, she is listed as a costumier at 43 Canning Street, Liverpool, so she may have moved to the larger city in order to expand her customer base. In the 1924 directory, Dorothy was working from 108A Bold Street, which would have been her retail premises in Liverpool’s most prestigious shopping street for fashionable dress. Her business had obviously grown and had become successful enough for her to afford to be based on Bold Street. From the 1870s onwards, it had been known as “the Bond Street of the North” and still had a top reputation in the 1920s and 30s.

She is no longer listed in the 1941 directory, so she may have retired or gone out of business and moved elsewhere, but appears in the 1939 register as a journalist. Dorothy Rimmer emerges as a fashion editor for the Liverpool Evening Express by 1933, and we believe this to be the same person. Her journalism seems to have eventually grown away from fashion and into things such as war-related stories. She was at one time the president of the Soroptimist Club of Liverpool.

Written by Vintagiality

from a mid 1920s gown - Courtesy of morning-glorious

from a mid 1920s gown

Courtesy of morning-glorious