ARCHIVE - 1960s Norman Hartnell Couture Gold Sequinned and Beaded Dress

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This very fine 1960s column dress is by the British designer Norman Hartnell and made to the same standard as French Haute Couture. This dress features his late 50s to early 60s couture label. Exceptional in every way and entirely covered in clear iridescent sequins on a medium weight crepe silk fabric in cream. The dress has a gentle V shaped neckline, caplet sleeves and a side kick pleat in the skirt. The bodice is overlaid with an additional sleeveless bodice with a keyhole opening that has been joined along the shoulder hem. All the dress edges are trimmed in an elaborate embellished arrangement of gold and silver beads, aurora borealis prong set diamantes and pearls. This lavish adornment together with the layers of finely made fabrics give the dress a pleasing weight.

The dress has two back zips, one for the column dress and an additional zip that fastens up the bodice. The dress is beautifully lined in a cream-coloured silk and it is virtually all hand finished. Absolutely museum quality vintage condition with no issues. Can be worn on the red carpet or for a special event. This dress was couture made for a client and the measurements suggest a best fit for around a UK 8-10 or US 2 -4.

Note on designer:

Normal Hartnell was one of the most outstanding couturiers of his time and greatly admired by fellow designer Christian Dior. Hartnell made Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown in 1947, her coronation gown in 1952 and dressed numerous members of the royal family, aristocracy, film stars and socialite's from the 1920s until his death in 1979. The House closed his doors in the early 1990s with the final head designer being Marc Bohan.

Bust - 40 in. (101.6 cm)
Waist - 29 in. (73.7 cm)
Hip - 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Length - 56.5 in. (143.5 cm)
Shoulders - 18 in. (45.7 cm)


Will you set anything aside for me before I come?

We are happy to find anything you may be interested in from our website - please let us know a week in advance. 

We also have an extensive offline collection. If you let us know your size, style, favourite colour to wear and perhaps your budget, we can browse through our archive in advance of your appointment. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Clients may wish to bring modern shapewear when trying on garments from certain eras, especially the 1950s. Vintage clothing was often worn with undergarments that shaped the waist and as such is tailored for them.

We have a huge variety of slip dresses and petticoats to complete your look; many of which are also for sale.

You may also wish to bring your favourite footwear. We often find a classic pair of nude shoes work well when trying on, or a pair in gold or silver.

Do you have a price range?

Many of our lower-priced pieces (under £150) are not available to buy online. Our prices range from £80 - £600 for separates. Dresses start at around £150 and go up to £2,500 for the very best antique pieces and designer vintage. Our bridalwear ranges from £300 - £3,000.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes but please do let us know the size of your party in advance.

Where can I get alterations?

We offer some alterations in house. Should you need alterations we cannot provide, we can refer you to one of our tried and trusted tailors.

Do you have an after-care service?

We will advise you on the best way to clean and preserve your vintage pieces and can also recommend trusted local dry cleaners.

Can I cancel my appointment?

You are free to cancel but please do give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be invoiced a late cancellation fee of £25.

Where's the showroom?

Our address is Circa Vintage, 87A Lansdowne Way London SW8 2PB

Upon arrival, buzz the 87A button on the gate or call us 020 7736 5038 to let you in.

Do you have parking?

We offer free, secure, off-street parking but it is a tight squeeze – so do let us know in advance if you will be needing this and we can make sure that there is space available.

How do I get there by public transport?


Stockwell (7 min walk) - Northern and Victoria Lines

Nine Elms (9 min walk) – Northern Line


Wandsworth Road (13 min walk) – Westbound to Clapham Junction / Eastbound to Dalston Junction

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer, contactless, Paypal