The London couturier Norman Hartnell, active between 1923-1979, is best known for dressing British royalty. This chapter, however, offers up a new view of this famous, royal dressmaker. Hartnell’s personal consumption of fashionable clothes in both men’s and women’s styles helped him construct duel identities as both ‘actress’ and ‘dandy’. Hartnell’s self-fashioning thus reflected his personal taste and his sexual subjectivity as an effeminate gay man. This chapter argues that Hartnell’s taste and identity translated into the garments he designed, resulting in his signature looks and house style. Using surviving garments, personal effects and photographs, this work will demonstrate the marrying of object based dress and fashion history approaches with what Lou Taylor has described as ‘critical stories’, issues and theories of taste, gender and sexual identity.
|Title of host publication||Dress history: new directions in theory and practice|
|Editors||Charlotte Nicklas, Annebella Pollen|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Oct 2015|