Balenciaga Up Close

Christian Dior did not say Cristobal Balenciaga was “the master of us all” without reason. Even with something as simple as a nightgown, Balenciaga’s high standards and exquisite craftsmanship set his work apart. There will be a few Balenciaga items on display, including these two pieces of intimate apparel, as part of the upcoming exhibit, “Undress: Shaping Fashion and Private Life.”

KSUM1983.1.561 Front View

This slip, made with black silk and Alencon lace, has rows of hand stitched, vertical pintucks that aren’t visible at first glance.

KSUM1983.1.561 Pintuck Detail

The peach silk nightgown is also deceptively simple.

KSUM1983.1.559 Three Quarter Front View

Upon closer inspection one sees the carefully joined pieces of lace and delicate appliques on the bodice.

KSUM1983.1.559 Bodice Detail

Looking closer still  we can see each impossibly small hem stitch used to secure the applique to the bodice.

KSUM1983.1.559 Back-lit Applique Detail

So precise! It nice to be able to share these details!

Joanne Arnett, Curatorial Assistant


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