There is an old saying about fashion being cyclical – well, of course, it’s true, and it’s brilliant too! It means we can find all sorts of true-vintage items that have endured the mean streets of yesteryear and are ready to rock again!

True-Vintage Quality

Many true-vintage items are well-made ones – they have made it through without bursting at the seams, stretching out of shape or fading to a pale memory of former glory. They are the survivors – treat them with respect!

True-vintage fashion can include the unbranded, the handmade and the high street – now the sought after as they become increasingly unique with every passing year.

It also consists of the upper crust vintage designer pieces which are often well documented, photographed and equally sought after. Is it just as exciting to find an old St Michaels label as an Ossie Clark labelled item? Hell no, but it is still quite a buzz to a true-vintage fashion detective!

Black and white 1980s-90s Adidas zip-up track top

Black and white 1980s-90s Adidas zip-up track topVintage clothing is a continually changing phenomena; 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s – which decades are vintage, which only second hand?

Who decides the delineation of such things – the retailer, the buyer or the great hipster in the sky? It is a very subjective notion; the best advice is: if it’s cool and you want it, buy it!

True-Vintage Fabrics

The development of fabrics, sizing and manufacturing styles can all help to identify and age true vintage clothing.

Older fabrics can be more sumptuous and substantial than modern counterparts, well cut and assembled. Sizing can be an issue with preloved clothing, improved nutrition and exercise regimes mean we are generally bigger – taller and wider.

Changes in fashion and the move toward more comfortable clothing means we no longer require tiny waists and pointed busts. Sizing has developed, and a medium in 1960 could well be a small or extra small today. At Repsycho, we try to measure each older vintage item carefully and include the information in our listing.

Labels from retro brands can be really great too – some are pretty; some are small works of art, and some are simply nostalgic reminders of the past!

The great thing about modern fashion is there is no specific ‘in thing’ – wear what you like! Fashion through the ages has been used to denote your status and wealth.

Today it is more about how you feel, how you want to be seen, who do you like? We have the freedom to express ourselves – with preloved clothing we also have the affordability, well we do at Repsycho!

Post-war fashion blog article (pt.2)

Many of the gorgeous vintage fashion items we see at Repsycho have an interesting label – research has proved that many also have an amazing history!

The British fashion industry certainly produced some cracking designs in the post-war era! Sadly, some of these design labels have left little information about either the designer or the label.

Frank Usher

Anne and Max Bruh, refugees from Nazi Germany, started the Frank Usher label in 1946. Due to restrictions at the time, the couple bought an existing company and repurposed it- hence the totally unrelated name Frank Usher.

Known as a brand that notes fresh, high-end details on the catwalk and used them to create affordable, ready to wear designs. Although the fashion world at the time sneered at the brand, Frank Usher clothes were popular, well made and flattering and they also stand the test of time.

Rhona Roy Fashion

Rhona Roy was a very nice brand but we know little about it. It traded during the ’50s until the ’70s, making really pretty cotton dresses very well! Dress patterns were also available. There was a mainline labelled simply Rhona Roy and a line for teenage girls too.

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Post-war fashion

Britain has produced some divine design since WW2 and some of its fashion designers are the most respected. Their creations have become extremely sought after and in terms of vintage fashion at Repsycho over the years we have picked up a few gems!

Mary Quant 

Probably the most iconic fashion designer of the 1960s. With an original take on design, Quant created modern, fun fashion, bright, colourful and bold. She popularised the mini skirt, hot pants, the skinny rib jumper and brightly coloured tights– her designs are iconic. Mary Quant was central to the development of London fashion – simply put she dressed the ‘Swinging Sixties’.

In 1963 Mary Quant launched the Ginger Group Line to deliver cheaper, mass-produced goods to the populace. She also marketed cosmetics and underwear using the famous Quant daisy design. At the end of the decade, Mary Quant was the leading UK fashion designer.

Ossie Clark & Celia Birtwell

Ossie Clark was a British fashion designer who became popular in the 1960s-70s. The fabric designs of Celia Birtwell complemented many of his best creations. Together they became a creative and productive partnership during this era.

In 1971, shortly after their marriage, their friend David Hockney painted Birtwell and Clark in Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy which is on display at Tate Britain. They had many famous clients, including Mick Jagger, the Beatles and Liza Minelli. Peter Gabriel used a Clark creation for the cover of the Genesis album Foxtrot.

Glamour influenced Clark’s designs; often romantic, free-flowing dresses. He liked to use printed silk chiffon and crepes, famously designing almost transparent pieces for his ‘Nude Look’. Menswear included ruffled shirts, silk scarves and snakeskin jackets.

Laura Ashley 

Although traditional handicrafts and Victorian patterns were the initial inspiration, Laura Ashley’s quintessentially English designs became very popular after Audrey Hepburn wore an early scarf design in the film Roman Holiday. Founded in 1953, the company moved from Kent to Wales in 1961 and clothing bearing labels from this era are particularly sought after.

During the sixties, Laura Ashley developed its designs and was well known for its dreamy, floaty maxi skirts and dresses and the stylised Prairie dresses which are particularly associated with the brand.  In the the early 80’s the brand began to incorporate the frills and pin tucks of the ‘Sloane Ranger’ – an altogether crisper, posher look that Lady Diana Spencer popularised. 

Ashley’s designs are easier to find than many other designers and maybe more affordable. But are nonetheless indicative of several decades of British design.

Marion Donaldson Design

During the early 1960’s, Marion Donaldson began designing and making dresses at her own home for resale in local shops. Specialising in mini skirts and dresses in the early years, her creations were flamboyant, modern, bright and pretty cool too! Initially selling to shops in Glasgow, the popularity of her designs grew, and she designed for the London market. At one point working with Liberty’s of London using their fabric- these designs became some of Marion Donaldson’s most successful.

Marion and her husband/partner David decided to remain designers/manufacturers- never having their own retail outlets like other famous designers, maybe partly explaining some lack of recognition for the brand and also some of the commercial rewards too.

 An oval mirror which the Donaldson’s bought at an auction inspired the brand’s iconic art nouveau label.

The Marion Donaldson brand has been credited with bringing ‘Swinging London’ to Glasgow, and she herself is sometimes referred to as ‘the Scottish Barbara Hulanicki‘ (Biba). Marion Donaldson Ltd traded from 1966 until 1999, her quality designs and remain sought after today.

Janice Wainwright Design

Janice Wainwright studied at Wimbledon School of Art, Kingston School of Art and The Royal College of Art in London. During the late 60s she worked as a designer for Simon Massey, in 1968 she began to work as a freelance designer. Her work during this period was bright, youthful and simple. Wainwright was one of the few designers to use Celia Birtwell textile designs- a real sign of respect from the Clark/Birtwell partnership.

In 1970 she started her own label, Janice Wainwright at Forty Seven Poland Street. Her designs were longline, flattering creations and often used jersey, crepe and chiffon. From 1974 she began to drop the cumbersome label name for just her own. A feature of her work was the different decorative techniques used.

Jean Muir Design

In the ’50s Jean Muir worked as a fashion sketcher and seller for Liberty’s in London. She was later employed as a self-taught designer at Jaeger. At the beginning of the ’60s, she established the firm Jane and Jane. In 1966 Muir started her own business with her husband, selling clothes to selected shops worldwide. Jean Muir’s clothes have fluid lines and elegance. She particularly liked working with dark, plain colours in jersey, crepe and suede.

Although the fashion industry adored Muir and she counted many stars and celebrities as her clients and friends, she considered herself a dressmaker! She was a hard-working, stickler for perfection. Qualities which helped earn her a reputation for precise tailoring and exquisite design.

Obviously, sweatpants and tops are a really popular choice, most of us have them and have had them for many, many year- maybe it’s time for an update?

This outfit from Fred Perry consists of a crew neck, long sleeved sweatshirt and tracky bottoms in loopback cotton. Slightly oversized, it’s designed with contrast piping in Floral Liberty London fabric. The bottoms have a colourful Liberty print side panel on the outside of each leg and an elasticated, drawstring waistband and side pockets.

Have a look at our Vintage Inspired range of clothing, we stock some great items but for living is lockdown surely a comfy pair of dungarees are the ultimate must have?!

We sell a range from Run & Fly in fabulous cord or a smaller range in twill fabric. The design are pretty cool- we have the iconic dinosuar design in grey or gold, a ‘Buzzy Bee’ and for the more cosmic among us an ‘Out of this World’ design of planets stars and rockets.

As better weather is apparently on its way maybe it is a good time to look for shorts for the garden and balcony- even if we cannot look forward to Wimbledon those of us with a garden can manage our own versions of the tennis tournament and it is important to look the part too!

With the good weather in mind don't forget that sunbathing is also an (in)activity where poor attire is a definite no-no. Most of us has gardens and balconies that are overlooked- keep up cool appearances with a retro swimsuit or possibly a groovy towelling headband!

It has to be said that living in isolation affects people in different ways; I have just been video talking with a mullet and his mini mullet son- clipping their hair with a beard trimmer seemed like a great idea at the time! Actually, toddlers look cute whatever the hairstyle!

Many of us have taken to living in comfortable clothing - pyjamas or sweatpants- the elasticated waistband is king for all now - not just the M&S shopper! However, it might be advised to keep some standards when we shrug on our lockdown attire- we wouldn't(hopefully) wear dirty clothes so why give in to the unattractive? After all most of us are regularly skyping, whatsapping and zooming- make sure you look your best!

Personally, I think it’s important to get dressed on a weekday, pyjama wear is a weekend pursuit which is even acceptable in a Covid-free society. So, for those of us who remain well enough to care, here are a few ideas for Corona-Fashion!

Tracksuits can also be a smart move as they are ideal for your daily exercise regime and there are many great options available.

This Adidas Tracky top is really cool and for a brighter, perkier look try one of our 80’s shell suit tops!

Pyjama Sundays can always be improved by an unusual twist! Bin the fleecy dressing gown- its too warm anyway and try a new look.

What about a vintage Hanro dressing gown with a buttoned high neck and flared 3/4 length sleeves. This amazing item has a full length, off centre zip closure. The geometric pattern is of blue and purple diamonds on a black background, blue trim- very striking.

Also available are several authentic, handmade kimonos for women and men. This full length kimono is black with a geometric pattern in olive green and small rectangle shapes in red and grey. Lined in cream and dark red. Very cool! This amazing, vintage, short kimono purple with a floral pattern. Traditional kimono styling with rectangular split sleeves and an open front. Lining also beautiful! The short ones also look really cool with jeans so good for post isolation too!

Finally, lets think about more formal occasions, it might be nice make an occasion, maybe mark a birthday or just to regularly think about dressing for dinner! In this event we can help with a range of cocktail dresses, suits or maybe just a groovy shirt.
A wowser of a zoot suit from the 1980’s with a wool check, long jacket– Kid Creole style! Made in England with ‘Stark Realism’ label.
Or this Vintage Floral DRESS by Kitty Copeland. A fantastic square neck, 3/4 length sleeve, dress. Wrapped waistband and pleated skirt. The fabric design is very pretty, a rose print in red and green/brown.
If a suit is a step too far, we also stock a range of amazing, Vintage Inspired shirts by Chenaski and Relco- just the thing for a special evening in!

Whatever you are doing during this surreal episode, a new outfit can lift the spirit- hopefully Repsycho can help! We will continue to supply as stocks and the postage system lasts, stay safe.

No one wants to hear this but Autumn is just around the corner- some might argue it is already upon us! However, hopes for an Indian summer aside, it is time to prepare our wardrobes for the approaching season.

Judging by the catwalks of 2019 a few recurrent trends look set to dominate, many of which are available to buy at a snip at vintage stores throughout the land and online too!

Breathe in it’s the return of the cinched waist - well maybe not that extreme! However, belts are back to wrap around everything from dresses to coats and cardies and anything else you fancy…

Flowers are not just for hippies! Floral prints look good all year round but in the darkening days of autumn they can brighten the spirit – wear darker colours with bright floral patterns.

Lee Bender ‘Bus Stop’ Flared TROUSERS

Frank Usher dress from the 1970’s in purple with a white and orange flower design

Some extreme versions of the tiered ruffle were in evidence on the catwalks this year - the more extreme the better.  But if you are in fear of appearing like a vintage chintzy lampshade a few mixed little ones should suffice!

Pretty 1980s dress with a multi-tiered/ruffled skirt and a 1970s tiered skirt

Thank goodness my posh shoes are back in fashion- yes, it’s a return for the pointed toe! Footwear never looked so good…

Yellow was pretty prominent on the catwalks – but it has to be a bright and bold egg yolk yellow- no simpering pastels!

Bold 1980’s jacket with bright yellow design

The one we have all been waiting for- yes, I can’t believe it but the triumphant return of the cape is upon us! Whether you choose a modest caped cocktail dress or a’ is it a coat- no it’s a cape’ cape be brave and give it ago. CAPES! Bloody brilliant!

A cape with it all- red lining, slits for hands and a checked pattern too

As usual, many of the styles at the fashion shows are completely over the top and unlikely to be worn by the majority of fashion followers.  Perhaps not for everyone the full facial floral face mask from Richard Quinn or the extreme puffer coat from Burberry. Nonetheless the catwalks are the source of fashion trends, so let’s look at a few of the recurrent themes at the many shows earlier this year.

Always a firm favourite with lumberjacks checks and plaids are moving front and centre of the fashionable look this autumn. Whether you wear them alone or mix it up, make sure you don’t confine them to shirts!

Vintage inspired green check trousers by Run & Fly

Vintage 1980s women’s cropped jacket

Shades of dark yellow -or some like to call it brown - is the colour for coats, jackets and all outer coverings. Actually, one of the more easily achieved trends this autumn and winter- hurrah!

Patchwork coat in shades of brown – belted!

Animal prints as long as they are faux! All styles and for all items of clothing- the fauxer the better- cool! Just beware of going the full Bet Lynch with this one!

Leopard print 1980’s dress – oh and is that a tier too?!

J LAXMI sheer, split sleeve, beaded top

BYROTER of London 1960’s Cocktail DRESS with discreet cape

We all love sparkles! This year the party season trend continues with perhaps a little more restraint- less can be more, maybe…

Just a few of the many trends for the autumn and winter season 2019. All of the pictured clothes (catwalk clothing excluded) were available in store at Repsycho, Bristol or online at at the time of writing. We have a varied and ever-changing stock- before you buy give vintage a try!

For centuries, the dirndl has been the traditional dress for women in the German-speaking region of the Alps, and notably in Bavaria and in Austria it is still considered the regional or national dress. Traditionally, a dirndl comprises a skirt, a bodice (these can be joined) and the dirndl blouse. An apron may be worn over the skirt too - don’t believe the urban myth that says the way you tie your apron ties denotes your availability! Over the centuries, the dirndl has won many fans - each year this style of dress is showcased at the famous Oktoberfest in Munich.

The bodice of the dirndl is usually a front fitted, corset style item. It has ties or buttons to ensure a snug fit and emphasis and enhance the bust and shape. It often has elaborate trim as well as embroidery or ribbon embellishments and pretty buttons too.

The skirt of a dirndl can be either a separate piece or attached to the bodice. They are fairly wide and have plenty of swing and sway. Skirts come in various lengths although mini dirndl skirts are now widely viewed as tacky! They can be plain or highly decorated with ruches and frills or with spectacular prints.

Dirndl tops are cropped under the bust so that the bodice fits snugly around the midriff, however they are also proving to be very popular as a top in their own right- just the thing to show off that 6 pack! Dirndl top designs differ greatly and allow the wearer to display varying degrees of cleavage, shoulder and arm. Sleeves encompass everything from elbow or to full-length for colder weather to light off-the-shoulder styles for warmer weather; Many have ruches and ruffles or sheer lace arms.  Puffed sleeves are popular to emphasise slimness at the waist. Most dirndl blouses are white although black, beige and cream ones are becoming more popular and are often enlivened with braid, buttons and tonal inserts.

A folk costume or tracht, might be a traditional dress, but that does not mean that it cannot be trendy at the same time! Growing interest in traditional clothing since the millennium has led designers to rediscover and reinvent the style. Today the so-called "mini-dirndl" is a best seller. That's probably not surprising though as these shortened folk dresses have had a fair amount of celebrity endorsement- and not just from Julie Andrews!

An acceptable alternative to the dirndl bodice is the traditional blouse. These blouses often incorporate many elements of the dirndl but are lightweight, can be less revealing and are generally easier to wear.

Dirndl dresses have bodices which are designed under the assumption that you’ll be wearing a specially cropped top. These tops are very popular and come in numerous styles and designs, suitable for different occasions and times of the year.

Whether you are going to an Oktoberfest celebration or simply following fashion, a dirndl is a brilliant choice but it can be an expensive one too. Before you invest in a reproduction high street must have or a cheap fancy dress option browse vintage – you won’t be disappointed! At we stock (as available) original, quality dirndl items at reasonable prices so you can look authentic, individual and amazing!

Tennis shorts first made their appearance in 1932 when the British tennis player, Bunny Austin, chose to wear shorts rather than the traditional flannel trousers at Forest Hills and then at Wimbledon. Although ridiculed at first, the less restrictive and cooler shorts soon became the norm. During the next four decades changes to men's tennis fashion were minor. The length of shorts varied slightly from decade to decade.

The 1970's gave us outrageously short shorts, which were also tighter to show your arse and legs off to the best effect - whether or not you had a nice arse! For this reason, pockets were often left out altogether from women’s shorts - they didn't want to spoil the line! Men's shorts usually include pockets, some of the coolest are those with towelling pocket lining - to keep the balls dry?! During the 1970s colour was added to men's tennis apparel for the first time since the earliest days of the sport when white was considered the only acceptable colour as it masked signs of perspiration! However, this was largely reflected in the shirts, tops and headbands worn by the players- shorts remained largely white.

Players branding began way back- Rene Lacoste was a champion in the 20's and Fred Perry the 1930's, these brands have become leaders in tennis wear throughout the world, certainly no other players have had the same success. Sports brands and sponsorship came aboard tennis in the1970’s and 1980s. The top players were and continue to be stars in their own right, so the key brands were keen to promote themselves through them. Colour, designs, and prominent logos on light breathable fabrics began to appear while player endorsement drove sales. Today players branding is a big business - most have their own logos included on individualised name brands which are also available to the public at vastly inflated prices. Brand endorsements are one of the biggest influencers of modern tennis style.

Summer sports means one thing for certain: TENNIS, and for sure you are going to need some cool tennis shorts. Obviously, you could buy some run-of-the-mill, off-the-peg sports shorts but you could go for a hip look! There are so many cool styles of tennis short from which to choose going back over many decades.

Obviously, women still wore skirts on the whole, however, Pauline Betz, one of the women who dominated the immediate post-war Wimbledon years, sometimes wore shorts -albeit loose shorts that resembled skirts! The outfit worn by American tennis player Gertrude Moran at Wimbledon in 1949 was a hint of trends to come. She wore shorts under her skirt with lace that peeked out as she played. Photographers lay flat on the ground to try to get pictures of the lace shorts - of course they did, bastards. Mod fashion took the 1960s by storm and showed up in tennis uniforms, graphic shorts were popular, though still worn under a tunic or dress.

The much maligned 1980's provided a huge variety of shorts style, white shorts were rapidly replaced by brightly coloured shorts made from synthetic moisture-wicking materials like lycra. Designs included shorts with peg pleating to the front and turn-ups at the hems, or maybe pastel coloured abstract designs to the pocket linings, waistbands and sides - more tasteful than you might expect and just the thing to make you stand out on the court. During the 1990s, the short-shorts favoured during the 1980s were dropped in favour of baggier, Bermuda style shorts. Players like Agassi started wearing colourful lycra cycling shorts underneath these shorts – for men a trend that continues to this day. Women on the professional circuit continue to wear both shorts and skirts with the shorts remaining short but emphasising a focus on performance, comfort and ease of movement.

At Repsycho we sell vintage shorts of all styles and brands for a snip. Most of our shorts are branded ones; for instance, Adidas, Lacoste, Fred Perry and Nike. We also sell shorts which have been tennis star branded with their own individual logos - eg Becker, Lendl and Edberg - have a look at our website, all you need to do is find a style to suit you and click!

There were numerous ceramic studios in West Germany in the post-war decades. Scheurich, the largest and most prolific studio, still in operation today although it no longer produces this style of pottery. E S Keramik was another large producer with a reputation for quality and striking designs though not so good at marking products and Ruscha produced quality items such as The Ruscha 313. There were many others such as, Bay, Carstens, Otto, Jopeko, Roth, Steuler, and Ü-Keramik - the list goes on.

However, one of the best tools you can use is your eyes- looking around flea markets and shops throughout Europe they do tend to pop up frequently and once you have your eye in you will be spotting them forever- even when you have decided your collection is large enough (it never is)! The pots may not have any marks or stickers at all but you can just tell, if you like it and the price is right, buy it! In many ways the finding of a West German pot is part of the fun of the collector: the search, the find and the haggle all add to the story of ownership. Good luck!

The most synonymous design feature of the genre is the Fat Lava glaze which gives the pottery its tactile quality. Another element was form, handles were no longer just shoved on at the end but were an integral part of the design, shape challenged and added interest. Colours were bold and solid, whatever colour or colour combination you prefer, it’s probably been replicated in West German pottery. Reds, blues, oranges, and earth tones are frequently found. Greens, yellows and white are less common. Complexity of designs can add to the value of pots; obviously a handled jug or finely ridged vase that has survived is rarer and an intricate pattern which has taken time and workmanship to achieve should be considered more significant than a plainer style.

Identifying West German pottery can be tricky; studios were lax about marking their pieces. Many do still have branded stickers – very useful! The base of the pot may have a mark with up to 3 numbers identifying the piece, the place of manufacture and the company, unfortunately they do not always have all or any of these numbers, however a piece with no numbers could still be a genuine West German pot! The base colour can help too, Ceramano, Roth and Carstens all used red clay while most others used off white.

Both men and women wear kimono, men’s tend to have subdued colours and geometric patterns while women’s favour the floral. Many kimonos are made of silk and silk blends, as they are handmade they don’t usually have labels to confirm the fabric type but silk is usually quite rough to the touch.

Michiyuki is a style of Japanese jacket/coat, with its signature square neckline and snap or button closures, is worn over the kimono for warmth and protection. Most michiyuki have a “secret pocket” beneath the front panel, accessible by the right hand. Though there are versions for men, most michiyuki are made for women. There is no standard length, and some can be as long as the kimono beneath it, which is more common for the style of michiyuki that is designed as rainwear.

Recently it has become very fashionable to wear kimono style jackets, they are widely manufactured and sold on the High Street but did you know it is really alternative to wear a real Japanese kimono? Why should you settle for a copy when authentic kimono are beautiful and handmade by experts too!

Kimono has come to denote a long, T shaped robe with collars and long, wide sleeves. They are wrapped around the body and secured with a belt/sash or obi. Traditional kimonos are handmade with fantastic attention to detail, tiny stitches and fabulous styling.

A yukata is a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, and unlined. It is very lightweight, cool, and comfortable compared to a traditional kimono. You can wear it to a casual party, events in the spring and the summer or indoor events in all seasons. They can also be your lounge wear.

A haori is a kimono shaped jacket. Originally worn by men only; women were allowed to wear them after the Meiji era and women's ones became popular in the Taisho era (1912-1926). The haori does not close but is worn open or kept closed by a string that connects the lapels. Haori are versatile garments, as they translate well into western-world outfits too, looking good when worn either dressed up for the evening or dressed down with jeans.

The 21st century has witnessed something of a kimono renaissance. Elegant kimono in beautiful modern fabrics can be seen increasingly on the streets of Japan, while second-hand kimono’ are becoming popular too, often re-styled or combined with other items of dress. The resurgence of interest in kimono is particularly apparent in the summer, when department stores are full of yukata (summer kimono), which are much simpler to wear than formal garments. After the Second World War kimono were often viewed as a product of Japan's feudal past or a symbol of women's oppression, but today they are just another choice in the wardrobe.

At Repsycho we have been selling authentic Japanese kimono for several years; people buy them to wear as jackets, dresses and as dressing gowns and lounging wear too, they are especially popular during the festival season. These are genuine handmade Japanese items which often still have tacking stitches in the clothing denoting that they have not been worn. Our kimono come in various colours and styles, gorgeous designs and often have beautiful linings too! Genuine Japanese Kimono can be hugely expensive, we offer the opportunity to own one at a snip!

Obviously there were numerous different brands making ceramics and tableware in the UK during the latter part of the 20th century. However we will endevour to scratch the surface of the most readily available, affordable and of course the coolest items!

Several of the lines and designers for Midwinter are highly valued by collectors, Toadstools by Jessie Tait and Saladware by Terence Conran are two such designs.

The companies of J & G Meakin, Johnson Brothers, Alfred Meakin, Ridgway and Pearson were all related and their activities intertwined, which explains why some of the designs from the 1950s and 1960s have similar themes however they also have some iconic shape and designs.

Johnson Bros. coffee set, Flying Geese design.

Studio Shape tea plate from J&G Meakin with the INCA pattern.

J & G Meakin Studio jug. White ironstone base with a design of a sunflower (Palma)

Alfred Meakin – brother of J&G- founded in the late 19th century and also exported mainly to the US prior to WW2. Postwar the company was responsible for the production of many great designs. These are some of the more delicate designs and also some of the more affordable.

Fiesta plate made in the early 1960s by Barker Bros. influenced by the Homemaker pattern by by Enid Seeney's Homemaker pattern (Ridgeway, 1955)

The firm of Broadhurst & Sons had the foresight to employ a young Kathie Winkle as a paintress in 1950. However, it took until 1958 for her to start designing her own patterns, she designed geometric patterns in simple colour ways; usually only about 3 to save money. 

Her patterns became increasingly popular due to the increased demand of new styles of kitchenware. Kathie Winkle produced over 100 eye catching designs; all are signed on the base so can be easily found. 

The designs comprised two parts - an outline in black created by the stamping process with bright colours then hand painted in the spaces before glazing. Like her contemporary designers, the new geometric patterns were a clear departure from the more usual floral motifs found on tableware. However, her designs were determinedly popular, with a utilitarian flavour- all made in the same shape on white ceramic and very definitely for the working person.

Beautiful leaf shaped side plates- no stamp so may not be from UK but definitely bought in UK!

Windsor bone china coffee set 1966 black crosshatch design on a white background.

Buying ceramic items online can be tricky, shipping is not cheap and when the item arrives it is dispiriting if the description and photos have not truly depicted the condition of your new acquisition.

At Repsycho we always endeavour to avoid disappointment and describe the condition fully. Chipped or cracked items are usually weeded out- we don’t generally list damaged items. But a few tiny nibbles, fading to the pattern or a little crazing, you can be sure we will mention it in the listing.

Vintage mid-late 20th century ceramic homeware has been popular for many years in the UK, recently this market has grown in many other countries too. Obviously, there is a limit to the number of damage free items available and as they grow rarer interest in obtaining them increases too. Post-war the trend was to banish the dreary wartime darkness, in Britain, as soon as rationing allowed. Colour, vibrancy and opulence exploded onto the design scene! In the world of ceramics, a new contemporary look was created and it is that innovation which is so desired by collectors today.

Midwinter is one of the best known and most popular ceramic producers of modern design in mass market ceramics from the 1950s to the 1970s. As managing director, Roy Midwinter modernised and glamourized, recognizing changing appetites and developing new shapes the public would appreciate keeping ahead of the market and developing fashions during the decades following the war. 

His most recognisable styles are Stylecraft, Fashion and Stonehenge. All adorned with designs by various talented designers, Jessie Tait and Eve Midwinter being the most synonymous with the brand while more prominent collaborators included Terence Conran, Hugh Casson and Peter Scott.

Ridgeway 1970s Indian Summer Trio.

J & G Meakin was originally founded in 1851 manufacturing tableware in Stoke-on-Trent in England. Before 1945 they made inexpensive items, which were particularly exported to America. After the 2nd world war the expansion in the UK market for tableware for the home, resulted in J&G Meakin producing a wide range of both traditional and fashionable shapes and patterns. In 1968 J&G Meakin took over Midwinter Pottery. Over 100 patterns on 17 different shaped pieces have been recorded for the period 1945-1975. J&G Meakin's Studio Shape, date from 1964 to the late 1970s. The designers involved in developing the Studio Shape range include Alan Rogers, Tom Arnold, Frank Trigger and the more well-known Jessie Tait.

Alfred Meakin TV Cup and Tray featuring the Brixham design. A fantastic product for the new TV era- just the thing for the viewing audience!

Broadhurst & Sons, Compass 1960

Calypso Coffee Pot

Of course, as any fashionista should know – it’s not all about the labels! You really should buy what you like and what you can afford - whoever made it! There are some great items available to be purchased at flea markets, second hand stores, car boots and charity shops around the country as well as online.

Elizabethan fine bone china, design: Portabello

Portmeirion, a small storage/spice jar with a cork stopper, featuring a fantastic abstract pattern, Variations, designed by Susan Williams-Ellis

Hornsea trio from 1976/77, Saffron design by John Clappison