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Balmain, the last of the couture giants of the 1950s, studied architecture before opening his own salon in 1945. His image of the elegant woman was typified by the glamorous "New Look"-ample bust, narrow waist and full skirt.
The ball gown is exquisitely hand-embroidered in a custom, Islamic-inspired floral motif with meandering vines. The boned fitted strapless bodice has a draped sweetheart neckline. Multiple tulle crinolines and a custom hooped petticoat were worn with this dress.
(Beverley Birks) New York, New York; purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2004).