Art/ 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:
1950s
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Herbert Levine, 1973
Accession Number:
1973.196.1
Not on view
Inspired by the dropped waist silhouette of the 1920s, Balenciaga's chemise quickly became the sack with midsection fluidity and fullness in contrast to its hobbled hemline. Its iconoclasm of nullifying the waist was controversial. Even an "I Love Lucy" episode featured Lucy and Ethel in Paris donning the faux chic of burlap sacks first as style victims and then as style leaders. Balenciaga disdained the popular and journalistic appellation of the sack.
Marking: [label] "Balenciaga, Paris"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The World of Balenciaga," March 23, 1973–September 9, 1973.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Waist Not," March 30, 1994–August 21, 1994.

de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Balenciaga and Spain," March 26, 2011–July 4, 2011.

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