Rose & trellis dress

This Horrockses day dress belonged to Phyllis Leitch. Her granddaughter Sera Mitchinson said she "certainly enjoyed a jaunt to the beach" in her coordinated outfits. "I know she loved Days Bay in Lower Hutt, and I remember her losing an expensive earring in the surf when we lived in Fiji – goodness knows why she didn’t take them off for swimming. In the late ’50s when my mother was 11 or 12 they used to live in Masterton. My grandparents would take her, two brothers and a sister to Days Bay for day trips and annual holidays were at Mahy Reserve Camp Ground at Ohope Beach. They would pile all four kids into the back of their Holden, towing a caravan, and my grandparents would both be smoking cigarettes in the front. Upon arrival, Grandpa Des (Desmond Godfrey Leitch) would busy himself with the setting up and Grandma Phyl would pull out her lounge chair, put on her swimsuit and cork-heeled espadrilles and lie under the sun, completely unfazed by other campers and passers by. My mum and her younger siblings were shooed away and left to their own devices and exploring for hours on end while she sun baked. She would trot around in her espadrilles with her swimsuit or short shorts on, while everyone else was in bare feet. She also used to love catching a wave on her boogie board. My grandma was a lively soul and I loved how authentic she was in herself. She was in the New Zealand ballet prior to marrying and having a family and missed the stage, so she liked to be the centre of attention."


Credit: Courtesy of Sera Mitchinson
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Credit: Courtesy of Sera Mitchinson
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Designer: Unknown
Manufacturing location: Made in New Zealand by California Productions
Garment type: Day dress
Material: Cotton
Features: The dress is gathered from the hip. It features pink piping detail and gathered pockets.
Colour: Green, white, pink
Label: Horrockses
Date: 1950s