Floral dress with double button belt
In 1986, Ches Pritchard was approached by Brian Hall of Thornton Hall. The company had recently acquired the conservative Puritan label and Ches’s directive was to work alongside creative director Isabel Harris to give it more polish and presence. The dress label includes a copyright statement. Faced with blatant copying of their designs, Isabel and Brian decided to take legal action in a case that made New Zealand law history in 1988. Thornton Hall fought a well-publicised case against Shanton who had copied a popular dress design of Isabel’s, manufacturing it in cheap material and selling it for a fraction of the price. It was the first copyright case of its kind as no relevant legislation existed at the time. The case was decided in Thornton Hall’s favour and contributed to the creation of the Copyright Act in 1994.