The gown was borrowed by Harper’s Bazaar to be photographed for their tribute article to the V&A’s “Golden Age of Couture” exhibition, it was photographed but not published, as only a small number of pieces were illustrated in the [October] edition.
Norman Hartnell was born in 1901. At a very early age it was clear that he had a great talent for drawing and design, but it was while he was studying Architecture at Cambridge that he started to design clothes. After University, Norman started in the fashion trade, opening a salon at No.10 Bruton Street. Early clients included actors Noel Coward and Gertie Lawrence and author Barbara Cartland. In fact, he dressed many of the ‘superstars’ of the time, including Isabel Jeans, Greer Garson, Merle Oberon, Norma Shearer, Marlene Dietrich and Vivienne Leigh. And as we know, in 1935 came the first Royal commission, to create the wedding dress for the marriage of the Duke of Gloucester and Lady Alice Montague Dougal Scott and the dresses for the bridesmaids, including the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. This was the first of many commissions for the Royal family culminated in his most famous, that for the Coronation Dress of Queen Elizabeth II. Hartnell continued to make for the great people of international society; until he passed away in 1979.
Winter Ball Gown
Winter Ball Gown (cached image)