Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Evening ensemble

Design House:
House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Designer:
Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
Date:
fall/winter 1950–51
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, metallic, beads, rhinestones
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1953
Accession Number:
C.I.53.40.10a–d
Not on view

This evening dress (a) of white satin embroidered with gold and silver braid, silver beads, and rhinestones, has a huge bronze taffeta sash (b) over the hips and a bow in back forming a slight train. The long matching gloves (c, d) are made of bronze taffeta.


The dress is a strapless sheath with allover embroidery executed in a medallion pattern surrounded by a leafy scroll motif. The top and hem have a wide border of encrusted beads on a lamé ground. The boned bodice, lined with white silk, is seamed to the slim skirt at the waist. The sash has a large bow with fringed streamers, creating the effect of a bustle. The gloves of above-elbow length, with ten buttons, complete the ensemble.


The dress is a couture copy of model 52 from the fall/winter 1950 runway show that was featured in Harper's Bazaar magazine (November 1950, p. 120).

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

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