Norell: Master of American Fashion

Banks, Jeffrey & . Rizzoli. Feb. 2018. 224p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780847861248. $65. DEC ARTS
OrangeReviewStarDesigner Banks and fashion writer de la Chapelle coauthor this first book dedicated to Norman Norell, born Norman David Levinson (1900–72). Often called the "dean of American fashion," Norell began his career designing for theater and film; in 1928, he went to work for fashion entrepreneur Hattie Carnegie, which enabled him to examine haute couture in Paris. In 1940, he partnered with Anthony Traina and eventually took over their business in 1954. Known for meticulous construction and the use of luxurious fabrics, Norell produced clothes on par with that of Paris designers. Among his most enduring styles are beautifully crafted jersey chemise dresses, menswear-inspired jackets and coats, mermaid dresses sewn with sequins, and dirndl skirts and dolman sleeves used on evening gowns. Norell was the first American designer to have his name on a dress and a fragrance, the first to win a Coty Award, and the first president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone curious about this pioneering designer and the history of American fashion.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month