Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Evening ensemble

Design House:
House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Designer:
Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
Date:
fall/winter 1946–47
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, cotton, jet
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. John Chambers Hughes, 1958
Accession Number:
C.I.58.34.27a, b
Not on view

This evening ensemble consists of a waist-length jacket (a) and full, floor-length bell-shaped skirt (b). The jacket, modeled after a matador's costume, is made of putty-colored velveteen trimmed with appliqués of black velvet embroidered in jet beads and edged with black silk cord. The black taffeta skirt has a very deep flounce applied above the knee, extending to mid-calf and covering the upper edge of the deep velveteen border above the hemline.


The tight-fitting jacket has a shawl collar with a three-piece cut-and-shaped back point at center waistline; a four-piece cut-and-shaped front pointed below the center-front buttoned closing; and two-piece sleeves set-in under epaulets, applied over the shoulder, and finished at the wrist with turnback cuffs. The collar, cuffs, epaulets, and a large oval patch applied over each elbow are encrusted in jet. The epaulets are finished with a button formed of black silk cord from which hang three ball-tassels formed of silk cord and embroidered in jet.


The skirt is gored and gathered with a very wide self-fabric flounce applied above the knee, ending over a deep border of black velveteen applied at the lower edge. The skirt is worn over panniers and a wide band of horsehair is set inside to provide internal backing to the flounce.

Marking: [label] "Balenciaga/10, Avenue George V, Paris"
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