Evening Dress thumbnail 1
Evening Dress thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Evening Dress

1963 (made)
Place Of Origin

Evening ensemble consisting of white silk gabardine dress and belt, and an embroidered gilt mesh jacket.

object details
Object Type
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Evening Dress
  • Jacket
  • Belt
Materials and Techniques
Silk gabardine, boned chiffon, gilt mesh studded with rhinestones
Brief Description
Evening ensemble consisting of silk gabardine dress and belt and embroidered gilt mesh jacket, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1963.
Physical Description
Evening ensemble consisting of white silk gabardine dress and belt, and an embroidered gilt mesh jacket.
Production typeHaute couture
Marks and Inscriptions
88387 (Printed on back of label)
Gallery Label
INTERNAL WORKINGS This evening dress – displayed inside out – shows the attention to detail in constructing a couture dress. The net bodice, structured with steel boning, was fitted to the exact measurements of the client. Fabric edges are bound with silk tulle and hard fastenings covered in velvet for comfort. Wide seam allowances in the skirt allow for later alterations if the client’s figure changed. Evening dress Silk gabardine and silk chiffon Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1963 Given by Mrs Loel Guinness V&A: T.30-1974(27/05/2017-07/02/2018)
Credit line
Given by Mrs Loel Guinness
Object history
Worn and given by Gloria Guinness
Historical context
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.
Designed for the winter 1963.
Bibliographic References
  • Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971no. 21
  • L'Officiel, September 1965
Other Number
Number 80 - Model number
Accession Number
T.30 to B-1974

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record createdFebruary 28, 2005
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