|EMBROIDERED PAISLEY DESIGN ON NORMAN NORELL GOWN|
|MODELS IN MERMAID DRESSES SURROUND THE DESIGNER|
Somehow, contemporary fashionistas mistakenly think that sexy was invented in years Madonna and post-Madonna. I remember a student who thought that time was divided into Madonna and pre-Madonna, as in "Don't be such a pre-Madonna." I have now added post-Madonna which like post-Modern, does not mean that Madonna and Modern are not important and influential, it just is that the world has sort of moved on.
But the late American designer Norman Norell knew elegant sexy from the get-go and designed it for Hollywood stars like Gloria Swanson as well the east coast socialite of the late 40s, 50, 60s and into the 70s. He is said to have invented the chemise, the dress that forgot its waistline.
Norell is shown here with a group of models wearing variations of his mermaid dress with its subtle train. This clingy siren gown did remember its waistline. The mermaid at the far right is embroidered with feminine paisleys. The photo is not dated but must be late 1960s or early 1970s. And if Norell's paisley mermaid was around today, it would be definitely be going to the best parties this fall. JP