Fashion & Beauty

Norell: Master of American Fashion

The first book dedicated to the career and creations of esteemed fashion designer Norman Norell, the man hailed as the “Dean of American Fashion” by the New York Times.

Norman Norell (1900–1972)—the first American designer to employ couture techniques, refined workmanship, and luxurious fabrics—made dresses, coats, and suits that critics deemed “the equal of Paris,” earning him the sobriquet “the American Balenciaga” and forever changing perceptions about New York’s Seventh Avenue garment industry.

Norell showed the world that American design could climb to great heights by producing collection after collection that was both elegant and practical. He singlehandedly shaped the character of the ready-to-wear industry and served as a role model to younger generations of American designers. Early jobs included creating costumes for film and stage and outfits for the stars themselves, as well as working for fashion entrepreneur Hattie Carnegie. Norell brought to the world a lean sophistication and American glamour in his daytime suits, jersey separates, swing coats, and his shimmering sequined “mermaid” dresses. Clients included Lauren Bacall, Babe Paley, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore, Marilyn Monroe, and Lady Bird Johnson. Norell was the first thoroughly modern American designer—and his dresses are still prized by stylish women today.

About The Author

Jeffrey Banks is a Coty Award–winning designer of men’s and women’s apparel. Doria de La Chapelle is a freelance writer. She has written on fashion, beauty, and style for Mademoiselle magazine and other publications. Ralph Rucci is a fashion designer and artist. Stan Herman is a clothing designer and former CFDA president. Kenneth Pool is a bridal-dress designer and Norell collector.

  • Publish Date: February 06, 2018
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 12
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6124-8


"The bottom line is that this is a hell of way to kick off the new year of fashion related publications. Norell: Master of American sets the bar high and will be used as a barometer for what's to come all year long."
New York Journal of Books 

Author Bookshelf: Jeffrey Banks

Author Bookshelf: Doria de la Chapelle