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Woman showcases largest collection of vintage clothes

Aug 5th 2015 at 10:55 PM

Woman showcases largest collection of vintage clothes being brought back into fashion by the Duchess of Cambridge… and calls on her grandchildren to model them

Prince George may have been showcasing an adorable wardrobe of vintage-inspired pieces on his recent outings but one woman, who is the proud owner of the UK's largest collection of classic children's clothes, gives even the Duchess of Cambridge a run for her money.

Angela Lynne has spent more than 40 years tracking down thousands of vintage garments, including dozens of smocked romper suits which Prince George has brought back into fashion in recent months.

Angela has now amassed a vast collection of delicate dresses, cotton frocks, sailor suits and christening gowns at her house near Attleborough in Norfolk - not far from the Duchess of Cambridge, who is a huge fan of vintage kid's clothing.

The majority of the clothes date from the Princess Elizabeth era of 1925 until Prince William grew out of rompers in the 1980s - the sixty years which Angela considers to be the 'prettiest run in the history of children's clothes.'

She is keen to make sure these vintage garments are preserved for future generations to enjoy and is thrilled that Kate is helping to make them popular again.

'I love the children's clothing from this period, the beautiful stitching and the pastel colours which you can't get any more,' said Angela, who is in her late 60s and has six children and 14 grandchildren.

'I dressed all my children in traditional clothes until they were 10 and I have lots of lovely pictures of them.

Nixie Walduck can be seen wearing a typical 1950s girls' day dress akin to what Anne would have worn in Enid Blyton's Famous Five

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'I think those 60 years between 1925 and 1985 were the prettiest run of children's clothing and reflect a simpler time when children played with trains and dolls.'

Angela's hobby began when her first daughter was born and an elderly aunt offered to buy her a special dress.

She chose a beautiful dress in Harrods and since then she has spent the last four decades sourcing hundreds upon hundreds of dresses, romper suits, tailored coats and leather shoes.

The clothing from this period is renowned for its muted colours, such as grass green, dusky blues, dull pinks and murky fawns.

Girls wore smocked day dresses, made from cotton, with white ankle socks and sometimes matching knickers. Boys were dressed in romper suits and wore leather shoes in brown or red.

Angela has a permanently laid out day and night nursery in her house, in which she also has a huge collection of vintage toys, including cars, prams and books.

Over the years she has shown her clothes at exhibitions and even had them used in television costume dramas, including the recent BBC series, The Outcast.

'I'm a real mother at heart and even as a child I enjoyed playing with dolls and prams,' she said.

'Most of the clothes are from the upper end of the market and made by top London shops and nannies.

'I have everything relating to nursery life and it's a very special collection. I think I'm now one of the only people in Britain able to recognise the makes, styles and materials of these clothes.

'The only other people who could help in the identification of this subject would be old nannies and nursemaids, who are a dying breed.'

Angela, who has now published a book about her collection, called Nursery Days, has also got many items of clothing, which are similar to those worn by Prince George.

She also thinks the Duchess of Cambridge will dress new baby Princess Charlotte in smocked garments and has a vast number of pretty cotton frocks she believes she would like.

'I expect we will see Princess Charlotte in smocked dresses,' she said. 'I think more people are now buying vintage children's styles and there seems to be a return to natural fibres and nice colours.'

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