An English Lady’s wardrobe

An English lady’s wardrobe exhibition ran from 25th October 2019 to 1st March 2020 at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.

The exhibition explored Mrs Emily Tinne’s (1886 – 1966) fascination with shopping and featured over 70 costumes from her wardrobe including stylish examples of daywear, evening dresses, outdoor wear, underwear and accessories.

Some of these items were purchased by Emily from the Owen Owen stores on both London Road and Clayton Square. Many of the items featured in the photographs here including the floral day dress, the evening dress and camisole all purchased from the Owen Owen stores were never worn and still have the price tags attached to them.

As well as featuring the largest collection of one person’s clothing in any museum in the UK, the exhibition also offered an interesting history of retail in 20th century Liverpool.

Welshman Owen Owen opened a drapery and haberdashery store on London Road in 1868 and by 1873 he had over 120 employees. The store relocated to Clayton Square in 1925. Owen Owen took an interest in the welfare of his staff and was the first employer in Liverpool to give staff a half day off each week.

The store become one of the largest stores in the North of England and Owen gradually built up a chain of department stores taking over rival retailers TJ Hughes in 1927.

Owen Owen still helps its former employees, their spouses and dependents today through the Owen Owen Trust – a grant giving charitable trust which operates as a registered charity.