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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Afternoon at MAGGIE NORRIS Atelier

reporter: Miguel Dominguez


New Orleans born, Maggie Norris attended the School of the Delgado Museum of Art. She then moved to New York City to attend the Art Students League at Parsons School of Design.

Ralph Lauren recruited her as Creative Designer, and she quickly became Senior Design Director of the Women's Collection, where she oversaw all the Women's ready-to-wear and accessory collections and was in charge of seeking out inspiration for the overall direction of the line. Then, in 1998, she moved to Europe to work as Chief Designer for Mondi's Women's Collection.

2000 saw the return of Norris to the United States, where she founded Maggie Norris Couture in New York City. In 2003, she joined the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).


Maggie's designs are sewn, embroidered and beaded completely by hand. Clearly the kind of treasures heirlooms are made of. If not reserved to be passed down from mother to daughter, institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology would be deliriously happy to have them donated into their permanent collections


Maggie Norris Couture creations have been featured in publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, Elle, and The New York Times, among countless others.

While couture is Maggie's main love and interest, last September she launched her first Pret-A-Porter collection for Spring/Summer 2013



An assortment of maggie's famed, hand sewn, hand embroidered, hand beaded corsets



Maggie Norris's creations are worn by numerous celebrities, among whom are Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Beyoncé Knowles, Diane Keaton, Anna Getty, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Somers Farkas and Michelle Obama.



Not just every garment, but every accessory to be found at Maggie's, has been designed by her









A testament to Maggie's exquisite taste and imagination is the way she creates an incredibly elegant cocktail ensemble by combining disparate elements, such as a beaded "Flapper" skirt, together with a military influenced jacket and belt complete with canteen, supposedly for hydration, but I would use it for Merlot or Cointreau instead of H2O.

The wedding gown amusingly recalls the sort of ladies undergarments popular towards the end of the 19th century.



Sonnet Stanfill's book, "New York Fashion" describes Norris as being part of a new generation of
"talented, young New York based designers who have earned considerable commercial and critical success."


The completely hand beaded dress that Kyle, Maggie's
assistant holds, is guaranteed to make the wearer loose at
least ten pounds in one night. The collective weight of all
the glass beads must be well over twenty pounds



Here maggie displays a 30's number from her latest collection and also a new design of sunglasses 


In 2006, Norris's work was featured in the "Love and War" Exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum. That same year, she also appeared in the "New York Society" Exhibition of the Museum of the City of New York. Also in this year, the Norris's "Caron" Gown was featured in Valerie Steele's book entitled "The Black Dress". Maggie Norris Couture hosted the event called "1950s New York" at the Café Carlyle, in collaboration with Boucheron Bijoux and Grace Hightower De Niro, to benefit "Operation Smile". This event was an homage to legendary pianist Bobby Short.


In 2007, her work was included in the Victoria & Albert Museum's "New York Fashion Now" exhibition and corresponding book entitled "New York Fashion" by Sonnet Stanfill.

In 2008, Norris co-organized the "Tableaux" Exhibition at the New York Plaza Hotel, in collaboration with Aman & Carson Interiors. Maggie Norris Couture has also been celebrated by esteemed American painter Nelson Shanks in a portrait of Keira Chaplin wearing the "Katarina" Corset, a portrait soon to be hung at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Lauren Ezersky covered the Maggie Norris Couture event "The Night They Invented Champagne", directed by Andrew Le Pera for the program "Behind the Velvet Ropes".


In February 2010, Maggie Norris Couture co-presented the exhibition "An Evening of New York Couture" at the Verdura Salon, in collaboration with Verdura and Aman & Carson Interiors. Maggie Norris Couture dressed Sarah Bradford and Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria for this occasion. Maggie Norris Couture was also the subject of a program covered by Lauren Ezersky on Better TV.

 That same year, Norris was featured in CBS Sunday Morning in connection with the "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century" Exhibition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.







Judy, Maggie's seamstress of ten years,
caught on her lunch break




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