Norman Norell – The Mermaid Designer
Like Claire McCardell, Norman Norell also designed for Hattie Carnegie; however, when Norell left Carnegie in 1940 to focus on his own label under the name Traina-Norell, his clothing would greatly differ from McCardell’s All-American look. Norell would produce ready-to-wear complete with couture finishes in an overall understated yet impossibly chic look. Norell often employed simple lines, in sharply tailored, collarless suits and wool day dresses. For evening or cocktail hour, Norell’s mermaid dress became the designer’s signature and would highlight every Norell collection until his last in 1972. The mermaid dress consisted of a sleek, sheath dress entirely embellished with hand-sewn sequins and paillettes that glimmered with every movement of the body.