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In 1940, after 12 years of designing for Hattie Carnegie, Norell joined clothing manufacturer Anthony Traina and launched one of the most successful fashion lines in the United States. Norell was the first American fashion designer to have his own name on a dress label.
This classic shirtwaist dress, executed in a geometric diamond pattern of bold colors, is an early example of Norell’s emphasis on designing simple, elegant, and well-made clothes. The short-sleeved fitted bodice with lightly padded shoulders has self-fabric button closures in the front, as well as a side zipper. The neckline is finished with a narrow band that ties in a bow at the front.
Sylvia Terner Mook; Vivian Mook Baer, New York, New York; through (Stan Weaver, New York, New York); given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1984.