Wedding dress, 1960
White floral rayon brocade
Accession number 1986.141.1
About the dress
The reaction to wartime clothes rationing and post-war austerity came with Christian Dior's revolutionary New Look of 1947, with its nipped-in waistline and huge volume of fabric in the skirt. This was a style that continued throughout the 1950s and can be seen as late as 1960 in this wedding dress.
Made from a floral rayon brocade, with scalloped boat neckline to the bodice and long fitted sleeves, it fastens up the centre back with a zip. A large flat brocade bow on each hip is the only decorative element, with no other applied decoration required. The bride (below) wore it with a white net veil and a headdress worn originally by her own mother for her wedding in 1926.
Mr and Mrs Blair on their wedding day
This dress was worn by Margaret Hawthorne for her wedding to Keith Blair at Prescot Parish Church on 7 June 1960. The couple were married by the bride's youngest brother, the Reverend Noel Hawthorne.
The dress was bought from Henderson's department store in Church Street, Liverpool, and cost around £25, which was a considerable amount then. Henderson's, founded in 1827 by William Henderson, was one of the city's best-loved department stores. It continued to trade under that name until it was taken over by the House of Fraser in the 1980s and re-named Binns.
Presented by Mrs Margaret Blair