Streatham, South London, UK info@streathamhilltheatre.org 020 3582 4912

Royal Fashion from Streatham’s Crown & Sceptre

Sir Norman Bishop Hartnell, KCVO (12 June 1901 – 8 June 1979) was a leading British fashion designer, best known for his work for the ladies of the Royal Family. Hartnell gained the Royal Warrant as Dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1940; and Royal Warrant as Dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II in 1957.

Born to an upwardly mobile family in Streatham, in southwest London, his parents were then publicans and owners of the prophetically named Crown & Sceptre, at the top of Streatham Hill.

Hartnell’s early interest lay in performing in, and designing for, productions at Cambridge University, and first came to fashion after designing for the university’s Footlights performances whilst an undergraduate. In 1923, Hartnell opened his own business at 10 Bruton Street, Mayfair [Wikipedia].

Image © National Portrait Gallery, Creative Commons License

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