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60s Vintage Cape Suit by Norman Norell New York Couture in Tan Wool


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

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This is a super quality vintage 60s hand finished cape / suit / skirt ensemble made by New York designer Norman Norell (1900-1972) of New York.   Norell is a legendary American designer, having designed clothing for Paramount during the silent movie age - such stars as Gloria Swanson wore his designs.  He then worked on Broadway, making clothes for the Ziegfield Follies and the Cotton Club.  He joined Hattie Carnegie in 1928 and worked with her until 1941, when he joined forces with Anthony Traina.  He started his own label in 1960 and is known for using only the best fabrics in his garments.  The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, wore a wonderful vintage Norman Norell dress to a Christmas party in 2010. 


This ensemble consists of a short cape and a skirt / dress combination.  The skirt is attached to a silk upper that would act as a slip and a way of holding the skirt in place without belts or closures.  There most likely would have been a matching blouse or top, but in the absence of one, you could use a blouse of your choice.  The skirt has a matching silk slip lining that is hand finished.  The cape has no arms openings and closes with a two button tab at the neckline.  It has a small pocket built into either lower side of the front and is lined in tan colored taffeta.

Age: 1960s

Label: Norman Norell New York

Color: Tan brown

Material: Wool with silk and taffeta linings

Sizing: No size is indicated, except that the cape has a handwritten ribbon affixed to it that reads “11692-227-10, perhaps a reference to a size 10.  This should fit a medium to large size - please rely on the following measurements for fit, taking the style of the ensemble and the thickness of the fabric into account:


Shoulders:  15”-16” estimated

Length on side:  28” long from the open neckline to the hemline

Bust:  48” around, with a 1” gap at the opening

Hemline:  70” around

Length:  25 1/2” down the back center seam


Bust:  38” around, meant to be somewhat loose

Waist:  40” around

Hips:  40” around

Length:  43”


It is in very good condition, with the exception of staining and a small hole  to the right underarm area of the slip.  There is also a slight bit of staining to the left underarm area and a small area of the skirt hemline where the finishing silk is missing (see last close-up photos for all of the damage).  Otherwise, this suit looks very crisp with no other wear, tear or defect - the lining could be patched in the damaged areas and wouldn’t be visible with a blouse being worn over the slip.

This is a wonderful cape suit by a great American designer - can you imagine the quality that someone who designed for five decades, especially during the 20s for iconic figures of the American screen and stage, and during the 30s and 40s for the maven of American fashion, Hattie Carnegie, would produce?  Norell felt that it was more important to own one quality garment than a closet full of cheap clothing.  The fabric and quality of the garment is obviously superior and the style of the suit smacks of high fashion.   Great collectible suit that will maintain and increase in value.....