Sometimes referred to as ‘the optimistic decade’, the 1950s was a period of enormous social change.

Britain started to put itself back together after the devastating effects of the Second World War, there were huge scientific leaps, an increasingly healthy economy, enormous improvements in health and social care, and people found they had free time and disposable income like never before.

For young people in particular, this was a truly exciting time. The term ‘teenager’ was coined to refer to a new market group.

These single young people with cash from paid work soon had their own fashions, milk bars, and cafes.

They came to dominate style in clothes and haircuts influenced by film, television and the new rock music that exploded part way through the decade.

This fabulous silver dress from the collections epitomises the new decadence of the period.

By 1952, clothes rationing had come to an end. Designers were creating collections with different materials that allowed different colours and patterns such as taffeta, nylon, rayon, wool and leather.

Newly developed artificial fibres were popular because they were cheaper and easier to take care of.

The fashion, culture and lifestyle of the 1950s will be on display in a brand-new exhibition at Hartlebury Castle in Spring 2021.

We will include many wonderful items from our store to make us all nostalgic for the period, including an original jukebox, an unusual dishwasher, plus many more beautiful dresses and accessories of the period.

It’s easy to imagine someone stepping out in this dress to attend a whirlwind of social engagements we would normally be enjoying at this time of year - parties, after work drinks, Christmas dinners, and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Though 2020 will draw to a close in a more reserved manner, we look forward with optimism to better times in 2021 and a host of wonderful new exhibitions, events and activities we have planned.

Please keep your eye out for more information on our website