Evening dress

Design House House of Balenciaga French
Designer Cristobal Balenciaga Spanish

Not on view

This sleeveless evening dress of yellow silk gazar is constructed in the wrap style. The right side crosses over the left and is secured at the waist and bust with six hidden snap closures. It has a scalloped V-neckline in front and back and two vertical bust darts. The high waist dips slightly at the center back and is accentuated with a thin self-fabric bow. The skirt, fabricated from six panels, is higher in the front and longer in the back, with a tail. The accompanying full slip is of silk with a wide scalloped silk gazar border at the scalloped hemline.

Inspired by flamenco costume, Balenciaga liked gowns that rose at the front and trailed to the back, allowing a dancer's forward motion to fill the cup at the back with air and to whip around animatedly. If Balenciaga's gowns were more genteel, they allowed air entering at the front to pull the long back to a billowing volume. The flamenco dress had ruffles in the front and other dance dresses might even show petticoats at the front, but Balenciaga either opted for a plain front or chose dyed-to-match feathers to decorate the high front hem.

Evening dress, House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937), silk, French

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