Cristóbal Balenciaga, Spanish, 1895 - 1972 (Designer)
cotton lace, silk chiffon and silk satin ribbon
Gift of Mrs. Louis Coblentz
© Phoenix Art Museum. All rights reserved. Photo by Ken Howie.
This dress is considered one of Balenciaga's top achievements. It was based on the loose-fit silhouette of his chemise dress that created a sensation in 1951. In this "baby doll" dress of 1957, Balenciaga created startling volume out of delicate black lace crepe. Seemingly innocent with its reference to children's dress, the black lace skims over the fitted underdress giving a veiled glimpse of the body underneath. The straight line of the lace accentuates the curved line of the body. Volume is created through a series of three ruffles of slightly stiffer black lace attached in rows on the underdress.