Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Cocktail dress

Design House:
House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Designer:
Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
Date:
spring/summer 1948
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, suede
Dimensions:
Length (a): 49 1/2 in. (125.7 cm) Length (b): 31 in. (78.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. John Chambers Hughes, 1958
Accession Number:
C.I.58.34.28a, b
Not on view

This cocktail dress (a) of silk chiffon is printed in a large stylized poppy print in shades of red with green stems on a black ground, with a wide contour belt (b) of black suede. The dress has a wide flared collar that is flat across the high back neckline, falling in ripples at each side of the deep V-shaped neckline in front, above the crossover closing below the bustline. The bodice has a one-piece back and a two-piece front fitted with one waistline dart at each side of the front and back. Wrist-length fitted sleeves are cut-in-one with the bodice and have a gusset set-in under each arm. The bodice and sleeves are lined with plain black chiffon. The full "Zouave" skirt of gathered chiffon is draped in loose folds over a ten-gore flared foundation of black taffeta, with the chiffon extending slightly below the foundation, gathered under and attached inside the hemline. The dress is fastened with snaps and a hook-and-thread loop at the center front, and has a zipper closing under the left arm. The wide contour belt of black suede, with a buckle covered in suede, encircles the waist.

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