Norman Norell Vintage 2 Piece Evening Dress in Green W/ Sequins
Stunning two piece evening ensemble custom made by Norman Norell. Worn together, the green knit skirt and green sequined long sleeve top create the look of an evening gown, nicely pulled together with the matching sequin belt.
The top is unlabeled but has all of Norell's signature handwork including zippers on the cuffs, his particular bra snaps, and the "front" label he used in his pieces. The sequins resemble those of his iconic mermaid gowns! The skirt is lined in Norell's finely tailored, signature way and has a Talon zipper with a hook and eye at the top and also the same "front" label used by Norell in his clothing.
There is a customer custom label with the initials of the owner still pinned to the underside of the dress. It does not bare the Norell label, but this is common in many of his custom pieces. View our collection of Norman Norell clothing, and read about the rich provenance of this stunning ensemble below.
This ensemble is in excellent vintage condition. It measures to be about a modern US size 6/8. The length is customization, with a sizable 3 and 3/4" hem that could easily be let out to make the skirt longer. This top is very similar to the silver one from the same estate, which is accompanied by a black jersey skirt.
This gorgeous outfit came from the estate of a woman from a prominent Northwest fashion family and she and her mother both owned several Norman Norell pieces. Her daughter remembers traveling with her mother and grandmother to New York to see Norell's latest collections and for their dress fittings by Norell himself. She remembers attending the fitting at the studio of someone named Lydia Kessler (?) at 72nd and Madison. Provenance is important to us and we hope you will enjoy reading a little more about the two women who owned the beautiful clothing we are so honored to be selling. Their daughter/granddaughter provided this small glimpse into her family's fashion history!
The Meier Family, Schwartz Family and Sadowsky Family were prominent members of the fashion industry for 150 years. Reuben Sadowsky was a prominent real estate and garment tycoon in the 19th century, having erected the Sadowsky Building at 1372 Broadway, NYC, the first manufacturing site in “Garment Town”.
Many of the Norell pieces that we now have in our collection were originally designed for Reuben’s only daughter, Betty Sadowsky Schwartz of New York City). Betty Sadowsky married Harry Schwartz, who owned National Department Stores. Harry Schwartz (Betty’s husband) was a close college friend of Oscar Hammerstein (Rogers & Hammerstein plays), and Harry was actually in Hammerstein’s wedding. So, Betty and Harry Schwartz would often attend openings of the Rogers & Hammerstein plays, among them “Away We Go” which later was re-titled and is now known as “Oklahoma”. Betty's granddaughter told us that several of the evening gowns were worn at events hosted by Rogers & Hammerstein.
Betty’s husband owned National Department Stores, and the Schwartz family would regularly visit their stores around the country. Among the stores in the National Department Store chain was Lipman Wolfe & Company, which was located in the building across from Meier & Frank’s flagship store. On one of the Schwartz’s visits to Portland, they brought their daughter, who met, fell in love with, and eventually married a descendant of the Meier & Frank Company. Meier & Frank was a prominent chain of department stores founded in Portland and later bought by the May Department Stores Company (Macy’s). Meier & Frank operated in the Pacific Northwest from 1857 to 2006.
This dress was custom made by Norell for Betty's daughter.
"I love a dress on your site, but since you don't give an actual size, how do I know it will fit me?"
When buying vintage (especially online), BEWARE OF SIZE NUMBERS! It can be difficult to find clothing that will fit by using one number to determine your size because sizing varies greatly across different manufacturers and eras.
The best way to know if a vintage item will fit you is to take a garment that fits you well, similar to the one you are interested in purchasing, and measure it the way we measure ours.
We lay all garments flat and measure as follows*:
BUST - under arm to under arm across the front and then double that measurement.
Measure the WAISTBAND, widest part of the HIPS, widest part of the THIGH on one leg and width of the CUFF, then double those measurements
WAIST - find the smallest part of the garment if there isn't an obvious seam for the waist and measure across and then double that measurement.
|LENGTH - Measure from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the cuff along the side seam.|
|HIPS - Find the largest part of the hip area and measure flat, then double that measurement.||RISE - Measure from the crotch to the top of the waistband.|
|LENGTH - from the nape of the neck or the top of the shoulders, depending on the style of garment. We will measure to the waist when applicable, so that you can determine if it will fit your torso, and then a waist down measurement.||INSEAM - Measure from the crotch to the bottom of the cuff along the inside seam.|
SLEEVES - measure from the top of the shoulder seam to the end of the sleeve. When we think that the arm opening is particularly small, we will provide that measurement as well.**
*Keep in mind that fabrics with stretch will have some give and if that give is substantial, we will try to mention the range of measurements that will fit comfortably.
**Remember that with dolman sleeves, the measuring can be trickier because there is no shoulder seam - it can also be more difficult to measure the bust because of the way it seamlessly joins the sleeve.
Feel free to email us with specific questions about specific measurements that we may not have included that you need to know in order to feel confident about your purchase. If you have a particularly long torso, short legs, long arms, etc.. we can help you determine whether or not a garment will work for your body.
Dressing Vintage offers free domestic US shipping and International orders are shipped free over $300. Our preferred shipping carrier is the US Postal Service.
If you have a special shipping requirement or time issue, please contact us in advance of purchase and let us know. Please be familiar with your own customs policies and charges.
Because of the unique nature of vintage clothing, we have a limited return policy. We only accept returns if the item you receive from us has a major flaw that detracts from its wearability or value that was not mentioned in the description. Though we also try to mention them, this does not include minor issues such as loose threads, slight seam stress, loose buttons, etc. We only accept returns based on size or fit issues on an individual basis at our discretion. All returns must be pre-approved via email. Here is our policy:
1. We must be contacted within 24 hours of receipt of the item.
2. Written notification of intent to return item must be made by email before the item is shipped back to us to:
Or by fax to:
3. The item must be shipped back to us within 48 hours of receipt insured for the full purchase price. Item must be returned to:
4. The item must arrive in the condition it was when shipped to the buyer. Customer will be refunded unless the item returned shows any sign of wear and it is then up to the discretion of Dressing Vintage to determine a fair refund amount.
5. If the item you purchased had a *major flaw that we failed to mention,we will issue a refund of the full purchase price usually within 48 hours of receipt of the item in satisfactory condition. If you are returning an item because of size issues, personal preferences, etc., we will gladly issue store credit and the buyer is responsible for return shipping costs.
6. No refunds are given on items damaged or lost by carrier in shipping. We ship all items insured and the purchaser is to pursue any shipping claims with the carrier - usually the US Postal Service.
At Dressing Vintage, we pride ourselves in selling vintage garments that are in excellent condition and ready to wear. Everything in our inventory has been professionally dry cleaned and/or professionally cold treated and stored in a climate controlled and pest-free environment.
All of our items are pre-owned, and as such we do our best to mention any flaw in detail, including photographs when appropriate. Slight imperfections are part of the history of vintage garments, but it is our goal to make sure that you know exactly what you are getting when you shop with us!
Here is a guide to condition for our site:
MINT - In "as new" condition. May include original tags or may appear unworn.
EXCELLENT - No visible flaws found. May have been washed and worn, but was well taken care of and stored properly.
VERY GOOD - Mostly in excellent condition but may have a few missing sequins, an inconspicuous pinhole or spot etc. We will mention any of those issues found in the item's description.
NOTE: Most of our items are included in the above categories unless stated otherwise. We only list items in the categories below if they are extremely rare, unique, or have an important label.
GOOD - Definitely wearable but might have a small hole, a spot we were unable to remove, or a tear that is not in the seam but in an inconspicuous spot. It might just be that the item doesn't appear as "crisp" as it would have been originally but is still a wonderful piece.
FAIR - When we sell garments in this category, it is mainly because they are from an important designer or rare pieces from the late 1800s or early part of the 20th century. They are generally fragile textiles, and are meant to be used for study or display purposes.
We have been selling vintage clothing for over a decade, and have many wonderful customers that have bought with us since the beginning. To build and maintain that kind of trust and relationship, we pride ourselves on cleanliness, proper storage techniques, and sharp eyes for flaws.