Thornton Hall aquamarine and gold mermaid cocktail dress, 1980s

Off the back of the successes that designer Isabel Harris and her partner Brian Hall had already had with their boutique Hullaballoo in the 1970s, Thornton Hall emerged as the new iteration of the label which saw them expand into Australia, and saw continued popularity here and abroad into the 80s and 90s.

This dress, from the mid eighties, is a fantastic example of their fun, flirty, and chic clothes which were so popular that Thornton Hall even had to protect their designs from being copied by other manufacturers and home stitchers alike; their copyright statement can be seen on a label below their main branding. 

Featuring an eyecatchingly shiny fabric, dropped waistline, contoured ruching, and a princess line cut which follows the curves of the body, this dress would have been a popular style for a school ball, cocktail party, or a special evening. 


Photographer: Denise Baynham
Credit: Garment loan courtesy of Stephanie King, Painted Bird Vintage
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Garment type: Cocktail dress
Material: synthetic knit base with gold foil micro-dot all over print
Features: Contoured, ruched silhouette with dropped waist mermaid skirt, sweetheart neckline
Colour: Turquoise, gold
Last published: January 2022
Label: Thornton Hall
Date: 1980s