Unlike many 20th-century fashion designers, Norman Norell rarely sought inspiration from non-western or exotic cultures. Norell’s Obi dresses (circa 1965) were a rare exception. Named after the wide belt used to secure and ornament a Japanese Kimono, the wrap-style Obi Dresses were constructed with a built-in panel of fabric that encased the upper torso using a hook and eye closure.
This interior garment allowed the outer wrap layer to glide smoothly over the body.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Norell: Dean of American Fashion, at the Museum at FIT.