Cocktail dress by Balmain

Cocktail dress by Balmain

Cocktail dress
Designed by Pierre Balmain (1914-82)
Paris, France
1957
Silk taffeta and tulle
Museum no. T.51-1974
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Given by Lady Elizabeth von Hofmannsthal

Pierre Balmain opened his salon in 1945. Having studied architecture, he worked on the structure of garments, defining the body with simple, modern lines. This cocktail dress, designed for the increasing elegant youth of the late 1950s is inspired by ballet and Spanish flamenco dress. It epitomises Balmain's harmonious balance between extravagance and elegance.