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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:

    February 1962 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk gazar, lace and satin ribbon

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Ian Fleming

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

Physical description

Full-length dress consisting of a gathered skirt of matte cream silk gazar and a bodice of black lace with a boned foundation. The bodice has lace frills framing the wide off-the-shoulder neckline and trimming the three quarter length sleeves. Black satin bows peep from below the black lace at neck and bust level, and a black satin ribbon tieds round the waist. There is a side zip fastening.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


February 1962 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Silk gazar, lace and satin ribbon

Marks and inscriptions

'Balenciaga, 10 Avenue George V, Paris'
Label, machine woven black on white, inside side seam of bodice

Hand-written on back of label

Object history note

Worn and given by Mrs Ian Fleming

Historical context note

Ann Charteris (1913-81) married her third husband Ian Fleming in 1952, the year in which he began to write the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (published in 1953). They were still living together at the time she bought and wore this dress, though they were not a conventional married couple. Ann was known for her rich social life and her qualities as hostess, for which no doubt this kind of couture garment was indispensable. After Fleming's death in 1964, she benefited from the royalties from his books and the exploitation of the Bond franchise.

Descriptive line

Evening dress of silk gazar and lace, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, February 1962.

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

Cecil Beaton, Fashion: an anthology (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1972)
For biographical sketch, see http://spartacus-educational.com/WNfleming.htm [accessed 23 08 2016]
Ann Fleming, The Letters of Ann Fleming, ed. Mark Amory (Collins Harvill: London, 1985). ISBN: 0002170590

Labels and date

To create drama, Balenciaga frequently layered black lace over a contrasting fabric. Here his debt is to the mantilla, a shawl which women use to cover their heads and shoulders during religious ceremonies and special events. By the mid- 19th century, mantillas had become emblematic of Spain, partly as a result of the portraits of Francisco de Goya.

Evening dress
Silk gazar and lace
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1962
Given by Mrs Ian Fleming
V&A: T.28-1974 [27/05/2017-07/02/2018]


Silk; Lace; Velvet; Whalebone


Weaving; Trimming; Lace


Fashion; Clothing; Evening wear; Lace

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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