Stunning fabric. Austrian born Mea Angerer trained under Josef Hoffmann in Vienna and supplied designs to the Wiener Werkstatte. She worked for Eton Rural Fabrics for eighteen months after moving to Britain in 1928, her arrival coinciding with a highly creative period at the firm. She also worked for Donald Brothers of Dundee, Scotland. For the launch of Old Glamis Fabrics, Scotland in 1926 an impressive array of designers were employed including Angerer. Warners and Hull Traders also bought her designs. She was interested in interior decoration and designed wallcoverings for Shand Kydd. Angerer is listed in Hayes Marshall's Textile Designs of Britain (1938/9) Roecliffe & Chapman described themselves as wholesale couturiers. In Knickers by Rosemary Hawthorne p 90 states that the trademark of the War years is the Utility label found attached to all manufactured clothing from 1942, through the post-war years, up to 1952. The designer of the well know CC41 label was Reginald Shipp who worked as a commercial artist for an old-established firm, Hargreaves, near Oxford Street. They were designers and suppliers of manufacturers' labels: their work covered retail, clothing, club and uniform labels. In 1940 Hargreaves, amongst several other companies, were asked to submit designs for the Utility mark that the Board of Trade wished to issue in 1941. Reginald Shipp's design was selected and he received, along with his company, a letter of commendation. The Board of Trade also awarded Mr Shipp a personal prize of £5. He lived in Barnes, London and died in 1962. The label on this dress is a full circle and double lines either side and has always been known as a luxury utility label. The label would have indicated that better quality fabric,or just more fabric had been used. It seems that clothes in a luxury catagory carried something like 25% more purchase tax, Obviously it meant there were very few garments around that bore this mark - better class corsets appear to occasioally boast the luxury mark because they used many restrictive materials - but after 1949 CC41 controls on clothing were lifted and Utility labels were not added to garments. Jonathan Walford in his book Forties Fashion. From Siren Suits to the New Look.has researched the label and explains that this label was called the 'double elevens' according to Reginal Shipp's nephew, whom he interviewed. The exact purpose of the label is blurry with Walford contacted every archives, war museum and library he could think of to try to find documents that defined CC41 and Double Elevens, with little success. He is quite sure the double elevens label had nothing to do with the export market. Every example he came across was either found in the UK or went to North America with a war bride in the late 1940s. The few examples he found that did not have these histories, were discovered in vintage clothing stores and had no attached provenance. He has yet to find one example this side of the Atlantic with the double elevens label that includes an American store label or a provenance of having been purchased in the U.S. or Canada when new. The two labels co-existed and although the utility scheme for clothing continued until March 1952 (it lasted until 1953 for furniture) , it is rare to find any fashionable women's garments with CC41 labels after 1948-49. Walford has found Double Elevens labels in garments that could date as late as 1950-51, but says it is hard to accurately date styles from this period.
designed printed rayon dress, with label Roecliffe & Chapman Grosvenor Street and size label 36, also label printed with a circle and two stripes (later luxury Utility label), the mid blue fabric printed with pierots, harlequins and clowns, in fondant pink, black and white, the bodice gathered at the shoulders with soft pleats falling to under the bust, the front with a pointed section, gathered full length skirt, short sleeves, the back with a tie belt, press studs to the side opening, 56 in; 140 cm.
All images and text © meg-andrews.com 2019