pauline trigere

1980s Pauline Trigere Balloon Sleeve Pink Silk Taffeta Dress

Pauline Trigere was known for her sophisticated pieces and her fine workmanship. Her garments are often on par with demi-couture in how they are constructed and finished. Trigère did not sketch her designs; she cut and draped from bolts of fabric. Her designs were often inventive despite their apparent simplicity. In 1985, LA Times writer Bettijane Levine described the glamour of Trigère's clothing: "They seem to lend stature or stage presence even to those who don't look commanding in some other designer's outfits. By virtue of their couture-type structure and tailoring, they make even average-height women look statuesque." Throughout her career, Trigere oversaw all of the elements of her business even as it grew to be quite substantial. This hands on philosophy shows in the quality of her pieces. This pink gown is absolutely wonderful and one of my favorite pieces to date by her that I have had in the shop.

The lines of this dress are quite beautiful and it has high impact married with the simplicity that she so loved. It marries color, cut and line perfectly. The silk she chose for this gown is of a very high quality and it has been dyed a bright and vivid pink that instantly catches the eye. There are no embellishments on the dress leaving only that amazing color and the cut to carry all the drama of it. The bodice is fitted with a curving V neckline. Seams set on a curve narrow into a nipped in waist that is set into the skirt in a V that mimics the neckline. The skirt flows to the floor in a voluminous cascade of silk from under that waist detailing and the skirts are quite full. This fullness is accomplished by the way the skirt is set into the waist and it needs no additional underskirts. The sleeves are spectacular and their exaggerated volume balance out the skirt perfectly. Each of the sleeves is cut to sit just above the elbow and is fitted into the shoulders in a way that allows for that wonderful pouffed balloon effect that you see. They are fabulous and serve as the focal point of the dress and despite their great volume somehow do not overwhelm the wearer once the dress is one. Excellent condition with one note to review below.

Fully lined in a matching colored pink silk and closes with a back painted metal zipper. Hand finished. There is the faintest of watermarks near the hem - you would only ever see this when it is laid out flat and you are searching. I attempted to photo it but the camera does not really pick it up.

Shoulders: 15.5"
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 16.5" from top of bodice to side waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item #DD2100

Reference Photo: Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon. 

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

Setting up a layaway is super easy and we are happy to provide this service!

Here's how deposits work on a standard layaway:

  • We require three equal payments of the layaway total. You will be invoiced for the first amount upon request
  • payment two of the remaining balance will be billed two weeks from the date of the initial deposit.
  • The final payment is due two weeks after the second payment and shipping will be billed on this invoice as well.
  • items less then $500, or that are on sale, require a 50% deposit with the final payment due in two weeks from the date of deposit 

Read More

We offer flat rate Standard UPS shipping worldwide. All shipping options are displayed at checkout in the pull down menus provided.

Want it faster?

We offer flat rates for expedited and express shipping options - these will also display at check out and can be selected with the drop down menu during the checkout process.

Read More


Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.