Printed fabric designs had a bit of a moment in the ‘fifties; enormous blowsy roses, chintzy sprigged cotton, polka dots, and those abstract atomic science-inspired designs that just squeal mid-century. Man-made fabrics were a great canvas for intricate designs, so realistic, highly detailed images became incredibly popular; cowboys with lassos, china teapots, fruit and vegetables, circus scenes and ballerinas… Okay, so we love all things vintage (that’s why you’re here, right?), but we like to give our homage to retro style a fizzy little twist that is 100% pure British Retro.

Now, I love cowboys and nuclear physics as much as the next gal, but I don’t necessarily want these emblazoned on my dress. No, give me designs that make me giggle, tell a story, draw attention and start conversations. I particularly love the way a design like our ‘Sea Nymph’ 50s pencil dress draws the eye in, are those really sexy mermaids? Hell yeah! A shoal of gorgeous mermaids on a dress makes the wearer shimmy and sway – come on in, the water’s lovely!

‘Seize the Night’ is a breath-taking design; a heady mix of skulls, crowns, roses and absolute sass. This dress is bloody cheeky and damn well knows it. What may not be obvious, however, is that this dress, like all our classic pencil dress designs, is a clever marriage of exquisite tailoring and quality fabric that flatters the figure. Sure, you need a bit of bravery to rock a sensational gown like this, but the hard work has all been done for you. Form fitting around the hips, subtle stretch at the waist and bust; a dress like this will flatter all curves, whether generous or modest. All you need to do, my darling, is choose the shoes and lippie – then get ready to Carpe Noctem with the best of them.

By Hazel Orriss