Norell wool double knit dress, 1960s
The artful simplicity of Norman Norell's work makes it eternally chic and wearable. His clean, precise tailoring is always in style. Fashionistas consider Norell the equal of top French couturiers—at one time Norell's work was priced comparably to Parisian couture.
The great American master Norell learned his craft from Hattie Carnegie, where he worked as head designer for 12 years before going out on his own. He learned perfectionism from her. The night before an opening in the late 1930s, Carnegie had Norell take a sleeve out and reset it seven times until it was just right.
Fashioned from bubblegum-pink wool double knit, the dress is comfortable and easy to wear. The scooped neckline is cut low in front, and even lower in back, adding pizzazz to an otherwise tailored design. This is precise and assured minimalism, and sexy to boot.
The dress is totally lined with matching silk crepe. The patch pockets and wide belt are casually relaxed. The hand-stitched zipper, hand finishing, and self-bound buttonholes are details expected on a couture garment.
The condition is almost excellent. The lining only is slightly discolored under the arms. This does not show when the dress is worn.
It measures: 36" bust, 31" waist, 40" hip, and 43" from the shoulder to the hem.