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House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
Length at CB: 66 1/2 in. (168.9 cm)
Gift of Baroness Philippe de Rothschild, 1973
Not on view
Conversant with Spanish ceremonial and vernacular dress as an expression of European regionalism, Balenciaga likewise respected Orientalist effects. The cocoon shape of the back alludes to the way a Japanese woman's outer kimono accommodates over her obi to create an elegant arc. More evidently, in emphasizing the nape of the neck by dropping the bias-rolled collar, he evokes the kimono's band neckline, which dips at the back.
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