Not Just A Label – Janice Wainwright

Janice Wainwright was born in Chesterfield in 1940. She attended the Wimbledon School of Art, then the Kingston School of Art and finally received her masters at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. Following her graduation, with the financial support of the company Simon Massey, she began designing and producing lines under her own name. During her time with Massey her style was distinctly youthful, bright and feminine; she gained respect from well-known designers such as Ossie Clark who permitted her to use Celia Birtwell’s prints, Wainwright was the only designer allowed this privilege at that time. In 1968, she left her place at the company to embark on a few years of freelance designing, during which she spent some time working for Sheridan Barnett. These years spent gaining experience and understanding of the industry were invaluable and eventually led her to establish her own label. ‘Janice Wainwright at Forty Seven Poland Street’ was opened just off Oxford Street in 1970.

Her time on Poland Street saw the birth of the signature Wainwright look, jersey, chiffon and crepes were used to create bias dresses, skilfully tailored suits and glamorous tops. In 1974 her work began bearing the simpler label ‘Janice Wainwright’. During the 70s and 80s her designs began to display more intricate and feminine embroidery, she returned to the simple fabrics she had been so fond of in the 60s. Wainwright clothes are highly sought after and collected. To her fans her pieces are invaluable and it is easy to see why, famous for her long lean shapes, which never fail to flatter the wearer and luxurious fabrics bearing intricate elaborate embroidery and bold prints; her work is truly priceless and continues to be highly sought after. It is important to note that several of her pieces throughout her career have been featured in collections at the Fashion Museum in Bath and in various exhibitions including the V & A.

Shop Janice Wainwright in our collection,   Stunning Early 80s Janice Wainwright LBD & Lace detail Jacket