Sunday, May 27, 2012

Don't put your labels on me

Except maybe a vintage one. Georgia wrote a post on some of the New Zealand labels she has on her vintage clothing. She asked at the end if anyone else had any vintage New Zealand labels and I thought I would show you some of the ones I have. 


This is the label of this dress. I couldn't find any information about "Florida" but that's not surprising since there is hardly any info about old New Zealand labels.


Like Georgia, I have a couple of Horrockses dresses. If you haven't heard of Horrockses you should probably google image search them asap because they made some of the best dresses I've ever seen. While they were a brand from the UK, a manufacturer in NZ was licenced to make them under the Horrockses name. The one above was made by California Productions Ltd in New Zealand.


As you can see they both have the same label design. The labels on Georgia's ones are different. I think there were a few different labels used over the years. You can see some of them here on Vintage Fashion Guild. 


I couldn't find anything about this one either except for an old trademe listing for a 50s dress with the label "An Allene Garment". 


This is the label of a pretty recent purchase. I got really excited when I saw it because it was either made or sold right here in Christchurch at 186 High Street. When I was in high school I walked down that street almost every day. High Street is unrecognisable now. A lot of the buildings have been demolished or are really badly damaged because of the earthquake. I doubt the number 186 where this was made/sold is still there but I love the fact that this 50+ year old dress has a connection to a street that I know.


I quite often come across Glengyle knitwear in op shops. The company was started in 1951 and is still going today. This blue cardigan is my favourite but I don't think I've ever posted a photo where I was wearing it.  


This cardigan is more modern than the blue one. New Zealand had switched to the metric system by 1980 (I think) so it's probably from around or after that time. It has way more info in terms of size etc than the earlier one.


This one is from what I guess is a late 40s/early 50s dress I op shopped for a couple of dollars mistakenly thinking it was an 80s dress. When I got home I realised that the original zip had been replaced and that it was a lot older than I had thought. The only thing I could find about Barraclough was a photo of a swing tag and a dress from the 1950s from J.W. Barraclough and Co Ltd that's in the collection at Te Papa (the national museum).

A lot of my vintage clothing doesn't have labels, probably because it was handmade, but I love looking at the ones that do as they are often a good indication of how old something is. It's also pretty special having something that was made in New Zealand so long ago.





31 comments:

  1. How interesting! Have you looked through that book 'The Dress Circle'? It is all about the history of New Zealand fashion and has some really great information about NZ labels and the beginning of NZ designers. With New Zealand having such a tiny population back in the day, and with everybody hand making their clothes I guess it's no wonder that true vintage is so hard to come by here.

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    1. No I haven't. It sounds really good though. I'll have to see if the library has it. That's true, although I do find a fair bit of 70s/80s stuff that was made here.

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  2. Oh wow, you need to post photos of your Horrockses dresses sometime because the fabrics look beautiful. I love that you did a post like this too and I really hope Helga does because something about old NZ labels makes me really excited.

    Lots of my dresses have SSW on them like your Allene one. Do you know what that means? Is it a size thing?

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    1. I will. I think I posted a picture of one of them a long time ago. I don't wear them that much anymore because they are a bit fragile.
      Old labels make me excited too. I always love buying 'made in NZ' stuff from the op shop. It's somehow more special.
      I'm pretty sure SSW is a size but I'm not sure what it stands for. I think it's thing they used in the 60s maybe?

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    2. I'm sure it stands for Small Small Womens, sort of like XXL is used in menswear for Extra Extra Large.

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    3. Haha, thanks! In that case I am surprised that I manage to squeeze into anything labeled with that size considering I am a size 14 or 16 in 1950s sewing patterns! It's so crazy all the ways that sizing and manufacture have changed over the years.

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    4. Thanks Sherry.

      Georgia- I'm a whole pile of different sizes in vintage clothes and sewing patterns too. As you can see up there I fit a 14 and an SSW (I also have 12s, 10s and 16s). I have a half written post about the way that sizing has changed.

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  3. You've inspired me to do a NZ label post now :) I love old labels, they seem to hold such history. My favourite area in Christchurch was High Street. It had such a cool feel to it. We would eat every day at Java Cafe. It's my all time favourite cafe. So sad it's not there anymore. The High & Litchfield St intersection was so lovely to photograph. Xx

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    1. That's great! I'm sure Georgia will be pleased she has spawned all these NZ label posts too. High Street was one of my favourite streets in Chch too. I walked past Java and along the High and Lichfield Street intersection all the time.

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  4. Neat post - I love looking at the old labels! How neat that you have one from High St, I wonder if the building was still there before the earthquake.
    PS you must check out the Dress Circle - it's a great read!

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    1. Same. I just looked it up on google maps and 186 was in the ANZ Bank Chambers which was a pretty old building so I assume that it was the building that my dress was made/sold in.
      I will definitely check out the the Dress Circle. It sounds fabulous.

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  5. How interesting to read about these labels. I agree about the Made in NZ words on the label, it makes me feel like I am being loyal. I think working out the age of a garment from the tag is like being a detective - as you say about the metric sizing. Glengyle is a brand I still look out for when I am shopping, and also Sonny Knitwear, which is the knitwear brand from Sabatini.

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    1. Yes, it's fun being a detective, although there isn't much information out there about vintage NZ clothing. I've heard of Sonny Knitwear but I don't think I've ever found any in an op shop.

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  6. What a great post - I have a few made in nz vintage dresses as well. But none are the same as these labels!

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    1. You'd think being a small country that we'd all have the same labels but there seems to have been so many different ones over the years. I guess it's from a time when there weren't many imports/imports were hugely expensive.

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    1. Glengyle is the best. They are the softest cardigans I own.

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  8. I love vintage labels, they always fascinate me, much more interesting than the mass produced tat you get these days. x

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    1. Me too. They sometimes have really cool designs.

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  9. ah, some more vintage labels. like.

    http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.de

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  10. I know it is not the point of the photo but I am loving the traces of pattern on the first Horrockses's fabric!

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    1. I'll have to do a post of the whole dress to show you what it looks like.

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  11. Oh these are fabulous!! I love old NZ labels and over the 5 years we had the shops, I have seen so so many!!!
    The book that has been suggested is amazing.
    It is just great you and Georgia are loving these makes and are interested in them. It makes me so happy.
    Love v

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    1. Same. They're so interesting. You've probably seen more great labels than anyone. I will have to check out the book now that it's had so many recommendations.

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  12. Fascinsting! I like the NZ trend for giving labels an American name! I think the trend over here would be French. I love old labels in general and those are really lovely! xxx

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    1. It's kind of funny. I guess California and Florida were popular label names because they were seen as beach-y and fun. Thanks.

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  13. The old labels are great and certainly give alot of clues to age and origin of fabulous vintage garments. NZ actually changed to metric in the early 70's and for a number of years after that measurements on garment were given in both metric and imperial. Sizing such as SSW (small, small womans), SW (small womans), W (womans) WX (Womans Extra)was used into the early Eighties when W was a size 14 for a bust measurement of 90cm although the sizes attributed to the letters had changed over time as had the sizes represented by 10,12,14 etc. And then of course there were the inconsistencies of size that lead to Mabel Howard's famous bloomers incident!

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    1. Thanks for that. I couldn't remember when it was we changed over to metric but I figured that it was before the 80s sometime. That's so interesting. I always wondered what the letters stood for. I had never heard of Mabel Howard (shame on me) but I googled her and she sounds like she was an amazing woman.

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  14. I've only just seen this post,and am loving it!!! Label lust!! I will fossick about and see what I have!XXX

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  15. Hello - i have put together a wee round up of 'made in nz retro/vintage' fashion label blog posts and have added this one - i hope that's ok? :)
    http://whatthemagpiesaw.blogspot.co.nz/p/label-love-ade-in-new-zealand.html

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