The Merchant Adventurers of Narnia sunset stripe shirt dress, 1970s

This 1970s dress is made of Indian cotton, with the coloured stripes woven into the fabric. The designers, The Merchant Adventurers of Narnia, extended this influence to the nehru style collar, simple tunic shift shape, and wooden toggles closing the neckline. The simplicity and ease of the silhouette, nipped in gently at the waist with a self fabric tie, would make this a comfortable choice for a hot summer's day. Clever cutting of the striped fabric is utilised on the yoke to create a geometric effect where the stripes meet at mitre points. 

The original Merchant Adventurers of Narnia, David (Doc) White and Prince Rupert Kurghan (formerly Dave McLatchie), were university students in Wellington when they met at a party. They found they had something in common - they had both managed to avoid university holiday jobs in wool sheds or freezing works by selling garments and accessories to their friends. Doc was tie-dyeing t-shirts and Rupert was making suede bags when they decided to work together on the venture. As fans of C S Lewis’s Narnia series, they decided on The Merchant Adventurers of Narnia as the name for their business. Read more about their story here.



Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Melanie Roger.
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Manufacturing location: Auckland
Garment type: day dress
Material: cotton with woven coloured stripes
Features: Nehru collar, with wooden toggle closure front, relaxed silhouette, belted tie waist, short sleeves, stripe manipulation, belt loops, welted pockets
Colour: orange, pink, purple, red, maroon, mustard
Last published: Jan 2023
Label: Made in Narnia
Date: 1977