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Floral prints, motifs and designs are always in fashion, and never more so than when used as the fabric for an English summer dress. Inspired by nature and paintings, from the graphic to the abstract, every summer almost every woman in Britain in the last 100 years has worn or wanted to wear a floral frock. ‘Floral frocks’ explores this unassuming cultural phenomenon from the beginning of the 20th century to the present in a series of broadly themed chronological chapters, each placing floral printed dresses as part of a wider socio-cultural context. Taken together, the book will give a general design history, but also raises issues surrounding the zeitgeist of each era through the medium of looking at one specific garment, the dress, rendered in one specific way, the floral print. The book discusses in detail over fifty floral printed dresses with over 140 illustrations which will show sumptuous details and full-length shots of the frocks with examples of historic and contemporary printed dresses from both museum and private collections. The majority of the dresses featured will be from the 1930s to the 1970s with names such as Horrockses Fashions, Tootal, California Cottons and Laura Ashley as well as designers including Christian Dior, Janice Wainwright and John Bates. The design and sewing skills of the countless home dressmakers and fashion firms whose names are now not remembered in history are also recognized in the selection of dresses featured in the book. Archive photographs of girls and women over the last 100 years, drawn from a variety of sources, have been reproduced. In this way, readers are not only able to place the exhibits and surviving examples of material culture in context, but are also able to discover the extraordinary within the ordinary and to experience and remember their own recollections of wearing, owning or seeing floral printed dresses.