Thursday, June 19, 2014

1960, in Feathers, Sequins and Spangles.

And now, for some Norman Norell awesomeness.  This is from the September 26, 1960 issue of Life Magazine. In case you can't see the details here, the dress on the left is a yellow plaid wool skirt that is topped with a purple sequined bodice.  That's some 80's color realness, in a 50's-60's style.  Hidden in the corner is a red ostrick coat.  WOWZA!  Next is the more expected sequin top with red skirt.  Moving to the right, an iconic look: a slim sheath dress with a fox hem, and dig those Breakfast at Tiffany's opera gloves.  LOVE that look.  The barfly to the right has a jacket that is lined with sequins.  Next up, fully sequined white sheath and a spangled black knit dress.

Apparently, Mr Norell had a shiny year n 1960.  LOVE the art direction in these photos.  It's old school Vogue, but in Life.  It's the kind of stuff that you just don't see in Vogue anymore (::cough:: Anna Wintour needs to retire ::cough::) unless Grace Coddington is involved.  She is an artistic genius.  Mental note: still haven't read her book.  Need to.

1960 meant that Mr Norell was feeling strong colors.  These pictures show lots of purples, reds, and this fabulous yellow trapeze coat that I just love.  He was clearly also inspired by the 20s, with a side of Gigi thrown in.  Notice the raccoon eye look he favors.  Both the colors and the heavy eye makeup are revisited in the 80s.  (Think Robert Palmer videos.)  Alas, not the gloves and hats.  We need to bring back gloves and hats.  Seriously.

An $850 outfit that today would cost you just shy of $6600.  Mr. Norell was so adamant about not having bad copies made of his garments that he actually offered to give the pattern away -- free -- to any manufacturer who wanted it.  I find that fascinating, and wonder what the caveats were.  I will try to dig and find more on that.  Remember, this is an era where designers were just starting to figure out licensing of their fashions.  Christian Dior sent his models out on the street covered in muslin sheets when they did photo shoots, so that no one could steal the designs before they were presented.  These guys were SERIOUS about protecting their designs. 

And lastly, the ostrich coat.  Because everyone needs a red ostrich coat in their life, yes?

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