Fall 1977 Pierre Balmain Haute Couture Lesage Beaded Velvet Dress

This wonderful gown is proper, numbered Haute Couture deigned by Pierre Balmain and made by hand on the Paris atelier.  It also has the additional provenance of being worn by Tracee Ellis Ross to the SAG_AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards in November of 2017. The cut is sublimely simple and allows the effect of those wonderful sleeves to take center stage. It is made out of a jet black, rich velvet that seems to absorb the light and give it a rich, deep feel. The neckline is high with a scooped shape and from there it falls into a sleek column with the waist just a hinted at. The sleeves are outstanding in both the cut and the workmanship on each. They are cut into a huge pouf that flares out perfectly. This combined with the rich, heavy cream silk satin is the perfect contrast to the velvet. Onto each is a cut out velvet applique with bead work highlighting the design. This is most likely the work of Lesage and it is exquisite. Each features a series pf medallions circling the sleeves and at the center of each is a pineapple the universal symbol of warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality. A fitting addition to what was surely intended as a gown meant for some fabulous hostess of the day. There are endless couture level details and the workmanship through is all perfectly and meticulously done. It is an amazing example of the fine workmanship and attention to detail of Haute Couture. It is a true piece of fashion history. Excellent condition.

The dress is fully lined in a fine black silk through the body and cream silk within the sleeves. There may be the occasional loose or missing bead on the sleeves but it does not deter and given the age and provenance I do not feel this rates it as less then excellent. The numbered tag found under the main label is there and I believe it says 164035. Hand finished. It closes with a back, hand set, painted metal zipper and elastic in each sleeve. There is a slight difference in the velvet pile here and there but this is natural patina for age and normal wear. The sleeves are slightly more a cream then how they photoed.

This dress was worn by Tracee Ellis Ross to the SAG_AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards in November of 2017.

Sleeves: approx 15" but vary depending on how you wear
Shoulders: no true defined seam
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 58" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD2892

Reference Photos: (1) Fall 1977 Pierre Balmain Couture Runway.  /  (2) Vogue Paris, September 1977.  /  (3-5) Tracee Ellis Ross wearing this dress to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards.

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

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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.