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Evening dress
  • Evening dress
    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972
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Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin embroidered with silk thread and gold pailletes, lined with silk and chiffon

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs Fern Bedaux

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition, case B20

Physical description

Evening dress of yellow satin, embroidered with matching silk thread and gold pailletes and lined with matching chiffon. The separate, inner lining is of white silk, lined with matching chiffon. The embroidery decoration of the dress covers the front of dress, and back of bodice - the back skirt is plain.
The dress consists of a strapless, boned bodice joined to a skirt which is tightly gathered at the centre back. The dress fastens at the bodice with 5 buttons. A series of ruffles gives the skirt a bustle effect.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1955 (made)


Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Satin embroidered with silk thread and gold pailletes, lined with silk and chiffon

Marks and inscriptions

'Balenciaga, 10 Avenue George V, Paris'
Machine woven black on white label

Number on back of label


Circumference: 100 cm, Circumference: 100 cm Waist, Circumference: 83.5 cm chest, Length: 144.7 cm, Length: 19 cm Arm opening

Object history note

Worn with matching gloves. Mrs Bedaux always had 2 or 3 dresses of this kind in case she was invited to a grand party - information given by her niece and heiress, Miss Hanley.

The attribution date is confirmed by the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum (Foundation) in Getaria, Spain, who believe there is a similar model in the Texas Fashion Collection (museum no. 1966.050.015)

Historical context note

This object is part of the collection of Mrs Fern Bedaux, given to the museum by Miss E Hanley, the heiress and niece of Mrs Bedaux. Mrs Bedaux purchased her whole wardrobe regularly from Balenciaga and the collection was very large; some was kept by Miss Hanley, some send to the Costume Museum in Bath; and some was received by the V&A.

Mrs Bedaux was the very wealthy widow of American millionaire office systems pioneer Charles Bedaux. Mr and Mrs Bedaux lived in the sixteenth century Chateau de Cand in France. The Duke of Windsor was married there after his abdication as King Edward VIII in 1936.

Descriptive line

Evening dress of embroidered satin, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955

Labels and date

Balenciaga encountered luxury fashion from an early age. His mother was a seamstress who altered the Paris gowns of wealthy clients such as the Marquesa de Casa Torres. He later collected garments and magazines from the 19th century for inspiration. The bustle-like back, heavy silk satin and sumptuous embroidery in this evening dress reflect this deep-rooted interest.

Evening dress
Satin, with embroidery of silk and gold paillettes by Rébé
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955
Bequeathed by Mrs Fern Bedaux
V&A: T.758-1972 [27/05/2017-07/02/2018]


Satin; Silk; Chiffon


Weaving; Embroidery


Fashion; Women's clothes; Evening wear; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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