The book is The Child in Fashion by Doris Langley Moore and this first edition was published by Batsford in 1953.
The children, many of them titled, are borrowed from friends and have been dressed in costumes from Moore’s own extensive collection.
As I was flicking through trying to choose photographs – quite hard as they are all so weirdly delightful- I spotted a young Vanessa Redgrave on ice-skates. I wonder if this was her first professional shoot? She was 16 when this book was published and it was another five years until Redgrave first appeared on stage in the West End. Apart from the joy of finding this photo, the book provided me with half an hour of pure delight.
It is hard to tell the sex of some of the children as there are young boys in dresses and they are all impossibly clean and perfect – almost like a Boden catalogue set over the last three centuries.
The costumes remind one of Little Women, Beatrix Potter and Daisy Ashford. This treasure can be yours for £15.00 plus postage but a little bit of me wants to keep it.