Dress and coat, Norman Hartnell

Dress and coat, Norman Hartnell

Dress and coat
Norman Hartnell (1901-79)
1958
London
Silk taffeta
Museum no. T.170&A-1990
Worn and given by Mrs Wyndgate

This dress is typical of a conservative ensemble of the 1950s.  This might have been worn by an older woman, with a hat, gloves and handbag for a special occasion such as a wedding.

Hundreds of tiny pin-tucks cover the entire surface of both dress and coat in this blue-green silk ensemble by Hartnell. The detail around the top of the outfit shows how the garment is formed from interwoven strips of silk in a simple basket weave, a play upon the construction of woven fabric which is further emphasised by the patterning of the narrow tucks.