Friday, 4 March 2016

Grace Elliott

Hello! It's been a little while since I've popped my head up here. There are a combination of reasons mainly that I've spent the last month or so flitting back and forth between London for work but also it's been terrible weather which does not really make one feel like donning elaborate outfits and jumping about outside. Luckily the weather has cheered up and I've had a little break from my flitting so I finally have time to put together a post.

The jacket I'm wearing in these pictures was bought by mum in the late 1970s from a boutique in the town she grew up in, Worcester. The shop was called Grace Elliott and the label of the jacket reads just that in a lovely bubbly 1970s typeface. 
Grace Elliott denim dress, mid-1970s. Source: GoldCanaryVintage

The jacket was passed to me when I was about 18, I'd ogled it from afar for a long time. It's a beautiful thing; hand-stitched squares of liberty-esque florals and lined in ivory silk. It's a like an old friend, I can't really imagine not seeing it hanging about on my rail.

Grace Elliott denim dress, mid-1970s. Source: GoldCanaryVintage
A few years ago my mum found the pink acetate skirt in Falmouth, what should the label read but Grace Elliott! Although the label was by this point a machine embroidered number. The strangest coincidence. She of course bought it right away. By now I was intrigued, who was Grace Elliott? Googling over the years since has produced very little in the way of information. I know it was open from roughly 1970-1985 (when it was dissolved), and there were two (possibly 3) shops; one at 35 Friar Street and one near The Butts. They traded under both Grace Elliott and Grace Elliott Designs Ltd. I've found one other Grace Elliott item selling on Etsy recently - a denim dress with embroidered tapestry cuffs and pockets. 

However, apart from this the thread has run rather dry. My intrigue is now at an all time high (my favourite thing is a mystery, and an ungoogleable one is the best sort!) This post is a sort of plea/call out/shout for help! Have any of you ever encountered items by Grace Elliott? Does anyone know anything about the firm or indeed remember it? Please comment if you do! Likewise I'd be very interested in seeing pictures if you have any items by the mysterious Grace. I'm pretty sure it was only based in Worcester so it's operations were probably quite small (however, items travel as exemplified by my skirt!)

Both these items are such favourites of mine that I can only imagine how wonderful the other items they might have sold would have been. The jacket reminds me so much of the fabrics used for flour sack dresses. I've never found a patchwork as wonderful and delicate as it. The skirt is made of 100% acetate (!) and has the brilliant watery/woodgrain pattern. 

I've rarely worn both items together but I  like the results, I felt a little like Andie (Molly Ringwald) in Pretty in Pink:
Andie, Pretty in Pink. Source: 1
Andie, Pretty in Pink. Source: 2
She was my absolute favourite as a teenager so maybe that's why I feel such an attachment to these items. They definitely embody that late 1970s-1980s style: ultra pink, floral and girly but with a little punk spirit thrown in. It's ever so slightly sloaney pony but it just about gets away with it (it's all about the attitude you imbue an outfit with...)

Please please please do get in touch if you have any information regarding Grace Elliott (send me an email if that's easier) or any tips on how one might go about tracking down a provincial boutique. My supersleuth investigative research skills have failed me this time!  I'll be back soon I promise!

Outfit Details

Jacket & skirt - Grace Elliott (via my mum)
1930s theatre dress (worn as top) - Vintage sale
1970s brown suede platform boots - Charity shop
1930s straw hat - Belonged to my mum



  1. I love the pretty floral patterns! The weather has been pretty dreadful here as well, definitely not fun for putting together pretty outfits. But hopefully it won't be too much longer before spring arrives!

  2. Not a name I'm familiar with but there were so many boutiques in the UK back in the 1950s until the 1980s before we became a nation of fast fashion obsessed clones! Love the swirly letters, the lovely eBay dress and your wonderfully Spring-like outfit (if only it was, its snowy and bitterly cold and distinctly wintery here!) xxx

  3. When I saw your outfit in the first 2 images I thought of her, too... and who doesn't want to look Pretty in Pink at least once in their life... ;)

    P.S.: I adore the vibrant blue shutters in the 2'nd picture!!! Perfect background for your outfit, too.

  4. My dearest Lally, you are s true piece of art yourself, and I am proud to have you in my life.

  5. Wish I could help you but I've got nothing. You do look divine in this and your mum is a star for getting it in the first place. Yes, I feel like I've worn my whole wardrobe for outdoor photos, it's all just coat, coat, coat, coat... You remind me - I need to do more flitting!

  6. I think it's pretty wonderful that your Mum has saved and passed on some terrific garments. I wish I'd kept more of my things. There were some crazy wonderful clothes in the 70's and 80's but that was before every body took photographs all the time so a lot of it just lives in our memories. Sigh... Good luck finding Grace Elliot. You look so adorable. Perhaps she will come out of hiding for you!

  7. Have you done Grace Elliott as a meta tag? It's amazing who comes across these articles. I'm sure at some point just the right person will come forward. I love a mystery. I think Vix has hit the nail on the head. Worcester's answer to Laura Ashley. Sorry Molly, Lally is much prettier in pink. When you're next in London, please could you ask the person in charge to turn Spring on. I'm getting desperate now. Xxx

  8. it's awesome that you found a vintage label that you love and have a real connection with- I can't be of much help other than to relate to your flitting interfering with outfit posting and to say your outfit also reminded me of Andie from Pretty in Pink