Chic 1960s Norman Norell Deep Brown Skirt & Jacket Suit Set w Belt & Hand Written Tag
Norman Norell was one of the great American designers. His clothes were wildly expensive in their day and he was credited for the unique ability to translate Paris couture into American ready-to-wear. He started in the film industry and then was hired by Hattie Carnegie. In 1941 he left and and joined Anthony Traina where the Traina-Norell label soon appeared. Upon Traina's retirement in 1960 he launched his own self-named label. He won the very first Coty American Fashion Critics' award ever given in 1943 and then won it again in 1951. In 1956 he became the first designer to earn a place in the Coty Hall of Fame. His signature styles for day ran the gamut from shirtwaists, suits, beautifully tailored coats and clothes that seemed simple at first glance but were logistically complex. Norman himself once said 'To qualify as a designer one should not be afraid to repeat a good design, and certainly must have his own signature'. He achieved that and more. I think every serious vintage collector should have a piece of his work in their archives.
The suit is a marvel of construction and is in wonderful condition. It is simple in appearance but this really hides the masterful cut and tailoring of it. The jacket is tailored with a sleek cut. It has a lovely little wide pointed collar. Four pockets are top set on the front. All four are functional and Iove the little nod to a military piece it gives it. The shoulders have the lightest of padding just to create and hold their shape. The deep brown light weight suiting wool it is made out of has enough weight that it holds the lines perfectly once it is on. It has its original belt to cinch in the waist of the jacket and add shape or you can wear it without for a more boxy feel. Each sleeve is long and straight and ends in a proper three button cuff and each button works and has a proper couture button hole. It really is incredible made. The skirt is fabulous. It is a true flaring A-line and that is what lets is fall so beautifully as you can see in the photos. The waist is banded and besides the amazing shape of it is has been kept simple to accommodate the belting of the jacket over it. There are pockets hidden along each hip. Once on, the suit transforms and you can see how beautiful the lines are and this would be even better on an actual person. His suits changed the way we approach woman's wear and this particular one is a particularly wonderful example of how strong his tailoring and lines were. This one is also a little extra special because it has a handwritten tag inside with the name Deborah what looks like the number 604. A mystery as to whether that was a sample or perhaps the runway model or a client tag but it's always nice to see these extra touches in a vintage piece. Excellent condition with a minor note below
Both pieces have a hand set lining in a deep brown silk. The jacket has a three buttons at the front and three buttons on each cuff. All proper buttonholes. The skirt has a zipper and hook & eye at the waist. Two top set pockets on the breast of the jacket and two on each hip. The slip belt is stamped. Hand finished throughout. The backing on the belt is starting to go and that coating sheds just a touch. The front is fine.
Bust: to 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 15.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 23" from neck to hem
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 23" from waist to hem with his signature 5" deep turn under at the hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
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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