Thornton Hall Green evening brocade gown & jacket, 1980s

The simplicity of the silhouette of this evening ensemble from the late 1980s lets the beautiful textile speak for itself; a deep shade of green with some shimmer provided by fine gold threads, likely an imported fabric sourced by designer, Isabel Harris.

Although during the 1980s Thornton Hall pioneered corporate dressing in New Zealand, they also maintained a strong commercial focus and kept a keen eye on current trends. Travel was essential to keep up with what was going on overseas and Isabel’s aesthetic had a definite European influence adapted for the New Zealand market. "The difficult thing is that you can never stop, you can’t rest back on your laurels because you’re working three years in advance if you’re buying fabrics and you’re creating original designs," says Isabel. "It sparks from the fabric and you work closely with the mills to see what is coming up. I used to go Premiere Vision in Paris and Karl Lagerfeld was there and I would think 'What the hell am I doing here? I’m a farmer’s daughter from New Zealand.'


Credit: Courtesy of Darian Rowan
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Designer: Isabel Harris
Garment type: Evening gown and jacket
Colour: Green, gold
Label: Thornton Hall
Date: 1980s