Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Evening dress

Design House:
House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Designer:
Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
Date:
1938–39
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Gift of Janet Chatfield-Taylor, 1962
Accession Number:
C.I.62.4.3a–c
Not on view
In contrast to the dinner suit's hard, masculine elegance, evening dresses of the mid- to late-1930s were softer and more feminine. Perhaps as a response to the reality of war, designers cast a nostalgic look to past styles. Particular interest was focused on the period 1850-1900, a time of relative stability in French politics and society. Designers translated styles from this period into ultra-romantic evening gowns intended to make women's figures elegantly voluptuous. Inspired by the silhouettes of the 1870s and 1880s, Vionnet, Balenciaga and Schiaparelli created dresses with bustles. Unlike the bustles from these periods, however, their fullness was achieved not through wiring or boning, but by the fabric alone.
Related Objects

Evening dress

Artist: Formerly attributed to House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Date: 1968 Medium: silk, linen, feathers Accession: 1980.338.6 On view in:Not on view

Hat

Artist: House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Date: 1950s Medium: synthetics Accession: 1995.319.1 On view in:Not on view

Coatdress

Artist: House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Date: 1955 Medium: wool Accession: 1973.19.3 On view in:Not on view

Evening dress

Artist: House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Date: 1964 Medium: silk Accession: 1973.21.8 On view in:Not on view

Suit

Artist: House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Date: fall/winter 1956–57 Medium: wool Accession: 1974.258.3a–d On view in:Not on view