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Evening dress
  • Evening dress
    Pierre Balmain, born 1914 - died 1982
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Evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris, France (made)

  • Date:

    1950-1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pierre Balmain, born 1914 - died 1982 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk grosgrain with embroidery, lined with linen, supported by boning and net

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs G. Sachet

  • Museum number:

    T.349&A-1975

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Image in copyright

Pierre Balmain (1914–82) opened his couture house in 1945. He had previously trained alongside Christian Dior at the couture house of Lucien Lelong.

Balmain became one of the most successful couturiers of his generation and by 1956 his house employed 600 workers, with 12 couture workrooms and in-house fur and millinery ateliers.

This youthful summer dress has a boned petticoat, showing the care given even to the under-garments.

Physical description

Evening dress of silk grosgrain with petticoat of net.
[Petticoat] Petticoat consisting of boned bodice, strapless, and multi-layered net skirt.
[Evening dress] Evening dress of cream silk grosgrain with matching machine made Swiss embroidery edging the low round neck, banding the hem and forming roundels on the wide curving flaring skirt. The dress is lined with linen at the high waistline but otherwise unlined. It fastens with a white metal zip at the centre back. The label inside the left waist side seam.

Place of Origin

Paris, France (made)

Date

1950-1955 (made)

Artist/maker

Pierre Balmain, born 1914 - died 1982 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Silk grosgrain with embroidery, lined with linen, supported by boning and net

Dimensions

Weight: .72 kg

Object history note

Worn and given by Mrs G. Sachet, c/o Marks & Spencer

Descriptive line

Evening dress of silk grosgrain with petticoat of net, designed by Pierre Balmain, Paris, 1950-1955.

Exhibition History

The Golden Age of Couture. Paris and London 1947 - 1957 (Victoria and Albert Museum 22/09/2007-06/01/2008)

Labels and date

PARIS DRESSMAKING
The Paris dressmaking schools, Les Ecoles de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, were established in 1929 to train a skilled workforce of petit-mains (seamstresses) for France's vast fashion industry.

In the early 1950s, a leading Paris house would typically employ between 500 and 850 staff in the different departments. In the flou workshops, dressmakers worked delicate fabrics entirely by hand to create blouses, skirts and dresses. Dior described them as having 'doigts de fées' - fairy fingers. [78 words]

[labels]

Dress and petticoat
Pierre Balmain (1914-82)
Paris
About 1950

Pierre Balmain, like Dior, worked for Lucien Lelong before opening his couture house in 1945. He became one of the most successful couturiers of the decade. By 1956 Balmain had 600 employees, 12 couture workrooms and in-house fur and millinery ateliers. This youthful summer dress has a boned petticoat, showing the care given even to the under-garments. [57 words]

Dress: silk grosgrain with machine-made Swiss embroidery
Petticoat: boned silk net and silk

Given by Mrs G. Sachet
V&A: T.349&A-1975 [22/09/2007]

Associated names

Cecil Beaton

Materials

Linen; Net; Grosgrain; Whalebone

Techniques

Weaving; Embroidering; Sewing

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Medallions

Categories

Embroidery; Fashion; Evening wear; Women's clothes

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection code

T&F

Qr_O120591
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