1950s Norman Hartnell Beaded Dress
Dressing Hollywood royalty (Marlene Dietrich, Vivienne Leigh, and Marilyn Monroe to name a few) is definitely a feather in the cap of any fashion designer, but being the favored dressmaker of the Royal Family of England, and earning the commission for Queen Elizabeth's Coronation gown placed Sir Norman Hartnell in a class by himself.
Beyond being dressmaker to the rich and famous, Hartnell was known for creating garments of pure glamour, with rich adornments and often, lots of beads.
This gorgeous dress is covered entirely in bugle beads. It is as substantial in weight as it is in drama. There are literally thousands of beads adorning this dress, and they were all sewn to the silk dress by hand. The upper portion of the bodice is white beads on cream color silk, the bust portion has black and bronze beads on a darker silk, then a band of bronze and gold beads on a darkbrown silk. The skirt is golden brown beads on chocolate brown silk.
The dress is lined in silk, with a back zipper.
This dress is in very good condition. There are a few perfume stains on the lining near the neck, but the outward appearance is flawless. The beading remains in excellent condition, the silks are still very strong and wearable.