Wallis 1970s Cinnamon Orange Floral Print Midi Dress
Founded in 1923, Wallis opened its first store in Chapel Market, Islington and was quickly known for coats and dresses, boasting an open challenge to its competitors through the phrase ‘Comparison invited. Competition Defied’, which was no doubt the creation of owner Raphael Nat Wallis and one that proved very effective.
By the mid 1940s Wallis had built a chain of 25 stores and enjoyed a healthy annual turnover for a business in the fashion field at the time, however when his son Jeffrey took up the reigns, Wallis launched its ‘Paris Originals’ label before successfully producing carbon copies of high-end couture pieces of the era, with a particular enjoyment of Chanel replications that drew the attentions of many London socialites, including Christine Keeler, who was famously known for the ‘Profumo Affair’ scandal around 1961.
With Zandra Rhodes later taking over as head of outerwear in 1969, both herself and Jeffrey frequented numerous Paris fashion events, only to return to Britain to recreate the garments showcased, often from memory than actual measurements, and in time for release ahead of the Paris designers themselves.
Having expanded its operations across Europe, South Africa and Saudi Arabia, Wallis became was inducted into the Sears Group in 1980, before finding itself transferred again to the Arcadia Group following their acquisition in 1999.
In 2009, Yasmin Le Bon launched her own clothing and jewellery collection under partnership with Wallis, and in 2010, the firm launch its own ‘Wallis 1923’ collection, based largely upon their archived patterns.
This is a 1970s glorious double flowering, almost Liberty lawn smock style frock, finishing long past the knee in plum and golden caramel hues with cinnamon orange to the cuffs and a yoke in a contrasting denser fabric, all designed to warm you from the outside in.
There is no doubt that this is a gorgeous little day dress, perfectly cinched to the waist with a matching fabric belt, fabulous bracelet length bishop sleeves and a feminine tiered frill to the skirt, all of which create a beautiful dress to be worn on any day.
Fabric 100% viscose so hand washable with dry-clean
Size Label reads Uk 8 but will fit UK 8-10
Very Good (see condition chart)
Imperfections Fabric on button cuffs slightly worn
Breast panel fabric a little bobbly
Measured flat without stretching (please double for complete size)
Neckline Opening 8.5″
Shoulder To Shoulder (across back) N/A
Bust (at widest point) 19″
Waist 22″ Free
Hips 27″ Free
Length (collar to hem) 44″
Sleeve Length (underarm to cuff) 24″
Sleeve Length (collar to cuff) 18″
Mannequin is UK 8-10 | Bust 31.5″ | Waist 24″ | Hips 34.5″
The dress was not pinned for photography purposes