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An ‘Unexpected Pearl’: Gender And Performativity in the Public and Private Lives of London Couturier Norman Hartnell

Jane Hattrick

Source: Dress History. New Directions in Theory and Practice, 2015, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Using legacies left to them by their mother Emma, and with financial help from their father, Norman Hartnell and his sister Phyllis opened a couture house on a small scale at 10 Bruton Street, Mayfair in 1923. By 1934 Hartnell had become a very successful and wealthy couture fashion designer, and the firm moved to much larger premises at 26 Bruton Street, employing up to 500 staff and producing thousands of couture garments a year by 1939. A close study of reviews of his fashion collections in th

Norman Hartnell

Vanessa Semmens

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

London as a Fashion City

Edwina Ehrman

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

London is part of a global fashion system, known in international circles for its fashion heritage and diversity, its hybrid sense of style, its vibrant consumer culture, and the creativity of its fashion graduates. It is equated with originality and experimentation and with styles that draw on a wide vocabulary of cultural references. The media tend to the innovative and radical, and the exposure given to designers who embody these qualities weights perceptions of London. The city plays a key ro

Halston

Fred Rottman

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

While studying fashion illustration at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1952, Halston began designing hats in his spare time. Eventually, he started to sell his designs at André Basil’s hair salon at the Ambassador Hotel. Halston moved to New York City in 1958 to design hats for the legendary milliner Lilly Daché and then began working in the custom millinery salon of the prestigious retailer Bergdorf Goodman in 1959. While there, he designed the famous pillbox hat worn by the First Lady Jacquelin

England

Naomi E.A. Tarrant

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

In 1800, the people of England dressed in the general West European clothing style that was worn by all fashionable people. Wealth determined what a person could afford to wear but not the style. There was no folk dress, so the general impression was that wealthy people wore the same styles as their workers, with only the quality showing the difference. The poor acquired garments from secondhand clothes dealers or as gifts from wealthier family members or friends, charities, and employers, as wel

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