This is a really unusual couture made dress from Traina-Norrell that is almost certainly from the mid to late 1950s. The fabric is a superb silk taffeta in a rose print whilst the colours are chartreuse and earth tones of ochre and orange. It has wide straps, a fitted empire bust line with a balconette lining inside and a grosgrain strap to support the under bust. From the empire line flares an elongated A-line Princess seamed bodice. The low slung skirt, which is a deep gathered flounce, finishes below the knee and is of particularly lavish construction. There is a stiffened fine linen backing the flounce that is also supported by a second yellow linen under flounce to give unrivalled volume. The dress is also lined in a stiffened dyed yellow organza type fabric to give the dress a very structured look. It fastens to the rear with the original metal zip that is hidden along one of the seams. The dress, by one of the finest partnerships of decadent evening and occasion wear during the period is labelled Traina-Norrell. At first, we almost missed the label as it is hidden in the folds of the flounce towards the bottom of the dress. In very good to excellent vintage condition overall. Silk taffeta is notoriously prone to aging and this silk is in extremely good condition with no yarn separation. We have dry cleaned and the silk retains all of its lustre. However, in certain places, notably near the back of the zip, there is what we would call 'handling marks' which has resulted in slight 'greying' of the fabric, although it's very difficult to spot unless looking closely. There is the tiniest amount of fraying on the very edges of the shoulder straps.
There is a very wide seam allowance on this dress and it could be altered at least one size bigger if not two by a trained seamstress. Our model is size UK 8 top - UK10 bottom or US 4-6 and this fits her well.
Note on Designer:
Normal Norell was one of the first American designers to have his name on a dress label. Partnering with Hattie Carnegie from 1928-1940 and then with Anthony Traina until his death in 1960. Up to this point, Norell's name only appeared on tags as Triana-Norell until 1960 when he formed his own company, Norman Norell. The company closed in 1976.
Bust - 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Waist - 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Hip - 42 in. (106.7 cm)
Length - 39.5 in. (100.3 cm)
Shoulders - N/A