1953 Traina-Norell Metallic Gold Thread Hand Embroidered Couture Dress

In 1941 Normal Norell partnered with Anthony Traina and his work from then until 1958 appears under the Traina-Norell label. That makes this dress a wonderful and early example of his work from this time period. He was a master tailor and he was known for his love of fabrics and in exploring shape and volume. In October of 1953, another version of a dress that uses a very similar fabric in its construction appeared in Harper's Bazaar on Evelyn Tripp.

The dress I have available today feature that same exotic felling metallic detailed silk fabric is the reference photo. The silk on this one however, is dyed to a beautiful deep marigold color that is absolutely spectacular in person. On to this is a fine, real metal thread in a deep burnished gold that is meticulously hand embroidered onto the fabric. You can easily see the hand work on the inner side of the silk. It runs in a wide panel down the front and then little leaf medallions are scattered over the entire dress. The bodice is cut to skim over the body with a notched front neckline that has little ties at the top of the neck. The sleeves are kept simple and capped. The waist is cinched and detailed with a wide banding of the same fabric and really gives you shape. Under that, the skirt is set into the waist in a series of small pleats beginning on either side of the front band of metallic embroidery. This pleating detail gives it the volume that you see. It's a long midi length and depending on how tall you are it should fall to ankle length or just above. It is a stunning dress and meticulously made with all hand finishes inside. This is an important piece of American fashion history. It presents as excellent but does have some minor flaws that are noted below.

Fully lined in an ivory silk through the bodice and the skirt is unlined. Hand finished throughout. Pockets on each hip and it closes with a painted metal side zipper. There is some foxing along each shoulder and on part of the waist and a tiny bit on the hip on one side. I see one pinhole tot he fabric at the hip and there is a tear just above the hem. Slight fraying to the piping/ties around the neckline. All minor. Please review the photos provided after the label shot. In person the color is a slightly deeper yellow.

Shoulders: 15"
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 12" from neck to top of the waist band, 17" to the bottom
Skirt: 35.5" from bottom of waist banding to hem
Total length: 52.5"

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3477

Reference Photo: Evelyn Tripp in Traina Norell, photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Harper's Bazaar, October 1953.

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.