Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

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

Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1960-1962 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered wild silk lined with silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Viscountess Lambton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition, case B26

Physical description

Short evening dress of white wild silk, with hand embroidered coloured floral motifs in the Chinese style. It is fitted and has a wide round neck, slightly lower at the back. It is sleeveless and has a side zip fastening. The dress is fully lined with white silk.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1960-1962 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered wild silk lined with silk


Length: 1120 mm Centre back, Circumference: 620 cm Waist, Circumference: Bust cm 79, Circumference: 770 mm Ribcage, Circumference: 470 mm 470, Circumference: 1340 mm Around hem

Object history note

Worn and given by Viscountess Lambton

Historical context note

Belinda Blew-Jones (1921-2003) - known as Bindy - was married to Lord Anthony Claud Frederick Lambton, 6th Earl of Durham in 1942. He disclaimed his peerage to sit as an MP (for Berwick-upon-Tweed), and used the title Viscount Lambton. The couple lived in a reputedly haunted Georgian house in Mayfair, where Lady Lambton was able to indulge her interest in lavish entertainments. She was a favourite subject in portraits by her friend, Lucien Freud.

Descriptive line

Embroidered wild silk evening dress, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1960-62

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

no. 18
Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971

Labels and date

This dress is embroidered ‘to shape’. The pattern pieces arrived at the embroiderer’s workshop already measured, with the seam and hem allowances marked. To ensure no needlework was wasted, the embroiderer stitched only within the designated areas. Eight curved panels make up the body of the dress, ensuring it hugged the wearer. Balenciaga designed it to be full-length, making the most of the unusual pattern. This shorter version was probably made at the client’s request.

Cocktail dress
Wild silk, with embroidery by Lesage
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris,
Given by Viscountess Lambton
V&A: T.27-1974 [27/05/2017-07/02/2018]




Embroidering; Weaving

Subjects depicted



Embroidery; Fashion; Clothing; Evening wear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.