Evening gownEvening gown
Cristóbal Balenciaga
ca. 1958

Cristóbal Balenciaga was born in Guetaria, Spain in 1895. He moved to Paris during the Spanish Civil War and opened his couture house in 1937. For the next thirty-one years, Balenciaga was hailed as a master of technique and one of the premier arbiters of fashion. In 1957 he began focusing attention on the legs, with gowns such as this one, cut high in front and sweeping the floor in back. In addition to black and white and vibrant colors, he frequently used this pale aquamarine.

This gown demonstrates some of the hallmarks of Balenciaga's 1950s styling, with its dramatic "mile wide" skirt buttressed by a complex architectural support structure underneath.

Gift of Miss Anne Strachan
Worn by the donor's mother, Mrs. Frank G. Strachan, née Rose Forsyth

LSM #1977.059.2