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Coat
  • Coat
    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972
  • Enlarge image

Coat

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    August 1961 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Faille embroidered with melanex, crystal beads, chenille and silk thread, and lined with silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Loel Guinness

  • Museum number:

    T.24-1974

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition, case B04

Physical description

Coat of pink faille embroidered with melanex, crystal beads, chenille and silk thread, and lined with pink silk. It is knee length, fitted at the waist, with a high round neck and elbow length sleeves. It has a centre front fastening with two covered buttons.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

August 1961 (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Faille embroidered with melanex, crystal beads, chenille and silk thread, and lined with silk

Marks and inscriptions

'Balenciaga, 10 Avenue George V, Paris'
Label, machine woven black on white, inside the back collar

'83462'
Hand-written on back of label

Object history note

Worn and given by Gloria Guinness

Historical significance: First use of plastic in association with Paco Rabanne

Historical context note

Gloria Guinness (nee Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, 1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.

Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.

She was voted 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962 behind Jackie Kennedy in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)

She owned seven homes, with a full wardrobe in each so that she would never have to pack or wait at customs. She spread her patronage widely, and amongst donations to the V&A of pieces by Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy etc., are pieces by lesser known couturiers such as Chaumont and Lafaurie.

Descriptive line

Pink faille coat embroidered with plastic discs, rhinestones and chenille and silk thread designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga and embroidered by Lesage, Paris, August 1961.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Cecil Beaton, Fashion: an anthology (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1971)

Labels and date

MODERNITY WITH TRADITION
Founded in the 1920s, the French firm Lesage was known for its virtuoso embroidery. Like Balenciaga, François Lesage, who ran the house in the 1950s and 60s, wanted to introduce unusual materials into couture. These samples include designs made in plastic by Paco Rabanne. They are marked with Balenciaga’s name to ensure they were kept exclusively for his use on garments such as this coat.

Coat
Silk, with decorations by Paco Rabanne and embroidery by Lesage
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1961
Given by Mrs Loel Guinness
V&A: T.24-1974 [27/05/2017-07/02/2018]

Materials

Melanex; Chenille; Beads; Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Beading; Applique

Categories

Fashion; Clothing; Embroidery; Plastic

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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