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14-09-2007
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1900-1972 Norman Norell
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Norman Norell (born Norman David Levinson April 20, 1900 in Noblesville, Indiana - died in New York, October 25, 1972) was an American fashion designer, known for his elegant suits and tailored silhouettes.
The son of a haberdasher, from early childhood Norell had an ambition to become an artist. After spending a short period at military school during World War I, he studied fashion design at the Pratt Institute.
In 1922, he joined the New York studio of Paramount Pictures where he designed clothes for Gloria Swanson and other stars of silent movies. He then worked as a costume designer on Broadway, making the costumes for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Cotton Club, as well as for the Brooks Costume Company and for wholesale dress manufacturer Charles Armour. In 1928, he was hired by Hattie Carnegie and remained with her until 1941.
In 1943 Norell won a Coty Fashion Award and began teaching at the Parsons School of Design, where he was previously a student. Shortly afterwards Anthony Traina invited him to form the fashion company Traina-Norrell, with Traina looking after the business side and Norell the fashion side. By 1944, Norell had launched chemise dresses, evening dresses, fur coats, sequined evening sheaths, fur slacks and empire-line dresses.
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Mermaid Dress, 1970s.






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Last edited by SomethingElse; 14-09-2007 at 01:45 AM.
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14-09-2007
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Beaded Evening Gown, 1960-1970s.






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24-12-2007
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Original caption: Iridescent luxury...Iridescent luxury was presented in the Norman Norell Fall 1963 collection in New York, as this evening costume was spotlighted. The gown, done in brilliant orange iridescent taffeta, has a billowy, floor-length skirt that's topped by a snug bodice. Adding luxurious elegance, the designer matches the gown with a stole edged with rich brown sable fur.


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24-12-2007
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Original caption: New York: :Labeled for "travel only" by Norman Norell, it three piece ensemble one of the first costumes shown in his Fall 1963 collection in New York. Softness is accented in the pink beige plaid wool selected by the designer to fashion the blender trousers and a matching cape with a wide notched collar and two verticle columns of buttons at front. Worn under the cape is a subtle wool Jersey blouse, done in tan, with a bow casually tied at the neckline. A matching skirt, not shown with the outfit was also designed to go with the cape upon arrival style.


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17-01-2008
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1958 Synthetic jersey bodice; silk faille skirt.


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17-01-2008
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1963 Wool knit.


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21-01-2008
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From 1961 (ph: Avedon).
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File Type: jpg american_bazaar_june_1961__avedon_sm.jpg (184.3 KB, 7 views)

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24-01-2008
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^ Great picture, iluvjeisa!

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c .1956, dress: silk jersey, sequins. Coat: vicuna wool, silk lining, sequins.

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24-01-2008
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About 1955, wool and fur.

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24-01-2008
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c. 1958. silk taffeta, painted warp (chiné), silk organza lining.

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24-01-2008
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c. 1967, silk organza, silk taffeta lining.

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24-01-2008
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c. 1963, wool crepe, rhinestones.

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24-01-2008
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"Genie" outfit, c. 1967, silk crepe, embroidered with rhinestones.

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24-01-2008
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Wow the silk organza dress in post #11 is amazing.. it looks completely like real georgines or dahlias.

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30-07-2008
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1900-1972 Norman Norell

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Norman Norell (1900-72) was a central figure in the development of the American fashion industry from the 1940s through the early 1970s. His simple but stylish clothing was lauded for its glamour, timelessness, and high-quality construction. Considered the first American fashion designer to compete successfully with French couturiers, Norell’s obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Times (October 26, 1972) with the headline: “Made 7th Ave. the Rival of Paris." The designer’s talent was recognized in 1943 when he received the first Coty American Fashion Critics Award ever presented. He was to be awarded four more such awards, and in 1956, he was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.

Norell was known for his evening shirtwaists, sequined “mermaid dresses,” sailor-inspired clothing, colorful outfits featuring buttons and large pockets, and simple wool dresses with high necklines. He was also fond of reviving and adapting earlier styles. In 1942, for example, he brought back the chemise dress of the twenties. His 1946 collection, which included longer skirts and nipped waists, foresaw Christian Dior’s New Look of the following year.

Norell had a long, illustrious affiliation with Parsons. He was a critic at the school, teaching in 1943-44 and then from 1954 to 1972. In 1956, Parsons honored him with its Medal for Distinguished Achievement. Norell was also a member of the school’s Advisory Board, 1958-62, and Board of Trustees, 1962-72.

Born Norman Levinson, Norell changed his surname while studying fashion design at the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, from 1920 to 1922. He explained the name change by stating, “‘Nor’ for ‘Norman,’ ‘l’ for ‘Levinson,’ with another ‘l’ added for looks.” After graduating, Norell was hired as a costume designer for the Astoria Studio of Paramount Pictures in Long Island. There he created outfits for such films as A Sainted Devil starring Rudolph Valentino. In 1923, Norell moved on to work for the Brooks Costume Company, where he produced costumes for both the Ziegfeld Follies and the Greenwich Village Follies.

Norell designed an upscale line of sportswear for the dress house of Charles Armour beginning in 1924. He then became head designer for Hattie Carnegie in 1928. The company’s wholesale operation was Norell’s primary responsibility, but he also did custom work for such clients as Joan Crawford, Pola Negri, and Gertrude Lawrence.

In 1941, Anthony Traina, a manufacturer of high-end clothing for mature women, hired Norell, and the pair established the Traina-Norell label. From the first, the firm was celebrated for constructing ready-to-wear clothes which were on par with French couture.

With America cut off from French fashion due to World War II, Traina-Norell filled the gap and quickly rose to prominence. After Traina’s death in 1960, Norell bought out the firm and renamed it “Norman Norell.” Besides designing for his company, he created clothes for such motion pictures as That Touch of Mink (1962) and Klute (1971). In 1968, he marketed the Norell perfume, the first Revlon fragrance named after a designer. When Norell passed away in 1972, Gustave Tassell took over direction of the clothing line. The company ultimately folded in 1977.

The Norman Norell Papers (7.5 cubic feet), held by the Kellen Archives Center, consist of sketches, photographs, clippings, awards, and scrapbooks. The Norell sketches in the Papers all date to the 1960s and early 1970s. The entire set has been included in the Fashion Design History Collection.
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