One of the many aspects I enjoy about collecting vintage fashion and couture is discovering the history behind each amazing piece.
It’s not always possible of course to uncover the provenance of your latest vintage dress, so it makes it even more special when vintage fashion comes with its own special story.
My latest discovery is an amazing Jean Varon evening dress for my own collection. It’s a black and silver creation that has a long zip up the front (very daring!), a long scarf that ties at the neck and a full, billowing cape attached at the shoulders that flows like liquid bat wings. This amazing creation is in spectacular condition and must have been expensive when first sold.
In this dress as well as the Jean Varon label, there is also a label marked ‘Warwick House of Malvern’. Often, high end stores would either take exclusive ranges from designers or they would add their own labels to very special pieces. With a bit of digging, I discovered that ‘Warwick House’ was a department store for discerning shoppers of Malvern. I found this description of the shop online: “For over 170 years, Warwick House was a major department store synonymous with the genteel image of Malvern with its excellent frontage stretching along Wells Road.” Founded in the 1800’s it served the ‘better off’ of Malvern and only closed in 1990.
I wonder who owned this lovely dress as it’s quite a showy piece! Definitely not one to wear if you want to blend into the background!
If you have any information on this Jean Varon dress or Warwick House, do let me know!