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

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    Summer 1967 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972 (designer)
    Roger Vivier (maker)
    Lesage (embroiderer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Applied sequins (cellulose acetate), mother-of-pearl beads and poult taffeta

  • Credit Line:

    Worn and given by Baroness Philippe de Rothschild

  • Museum number:

    T.38 to C-1974

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition, case B27 []

This ensemble is a good example of the work of the Spanish couturier Balenciaga (active in Paris 1937-68) in the 1960s when he actively fostered his interest in innovative textiles, simplifying the cut and construction of his clothes to make the most of the textiles. From his early days in Paris, Balenciaga's fascination with surface texture and pattern led him to patronise the important Parisian embroidery firm of Lesage. He was amongst the first couturiers to showcase some of Lesage's plastic creations: in this case, the disks in graduated shades of pink are made of melanex and shimmer as the wearer moves. Pink was ever present in the designer's oeuvre, in many variations from 'baby' pink to 'shocking' pink, but not within the same garment. Although the Baroness Rothschild, one of the couturier's most faithful customers, chose trousers to go with the coat, the coat had been presented in Balenciaga's show worn with a skirt that skimmed the knee.

Physical description

T.38-1974 - The coat is entirely covered with cellulose acetate sequin feather shapes in white and graduated shades of pink, on a ground of pear shaped sequins and mother-of-pearl beads. It is three-quarter length, straight cut with a hook fastening at the round neck. The sleeves are three-quarter length.

T.38A-1974 - The trousers of pink poult taffeta are tapered wit a side zip fastening.

T.38B-1974 - The shoes (Vivier) of transparent PVC trimmed with pink PVC and white leather; they have chisel toes and low heels.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


Summer 1967 (made)


Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972 (designer)
Roger Vivier (maker)
Lesage (embroiderer)

Materials and Techniques

Applied sequins (cellulose acetate), mother-of-pearl beads and poult taffeta

Marks and inscriptions

Balenciaga, 10 Avenue George V, Paris
Label, black on white machine woven

Printed on back of label


Height: 12.5 cm, Diameter: 25 cm, Weight: 0.1 kg

Object history note

Worn and given by Baroness Philippe de Rothschild.

American fashion designer, writer and socialite, Pauline Fairfax Potter (1908-1976) married Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1954. She was named on the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame in 1969.

The National Portrait Gallery contains many photographs of Baroness de Rothschild taken by her friend, Cecil Beaton.

Descriptive line

ensemble, F, 1967, French; Balenciaga. Shaded pink sequins, satin belt, embroidery by Lesage.

ensemble, F, 1967, French; Balenciaga. Pink poult taffeta,

evening ensemble, F, 1967 , French; Vivier, Roger. Transparent plastic

evening ensemble, F, 1967, French; Vivier, Roger. Transparent plastic

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

Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971

Labels and date

To create this precisely gradated design, the embroiderer has built up layers of beading on a piece of silk organza dip-dyed pink. The coat was constructed first. Then the coloured stitching was added (visible on the back), then white pearls (in a seemingly haphazard ‘vermicelli’ design), and then teardrop and pink feather-shaped sequins. Finally large pearls were added and Swarovski crystals. The nearby video shows embroiderers recreating the beading at Lesage today.

Evening coat
Silk organza, with embroidery and beading by Lesage
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1967
V&A: T.38-1974

Production Note

Atelier: Maria


Sequins; Taffeta; PVC; Leather; Mother-of-pearl; Cellulose acetate


Applied; Weaving


Fashion; Clothing; Evening wear

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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