Minimalist 1970s Pierre Balmain Numbered Haute Couture Rich Red Silk Dress w Knife Pleat Detailing

Pierre Balmain began his career at Molyneux where he worked part-time until 1936. After a brief stint serving in the military he landed at the house of Lucian Lelong. He eventually made the leap to independence and his first show was held on October 12th, 1945 at his salon at rue Francois 1er. This is a dress that perfectly shows that Haute Couture does not always have to be an elaborate over the top creation. Sometimes the beauty of couture lies in the restraint of the cut and a simplicity that belies the hours and hours of handwork put into each piece. This dress is a numbered and a true piece of Haute Couture piece. It is a gorgeous.

The dress is made from deep burgundy red silk. The top is cut into a V at the front with slight gathers where it inserts into the shoulders. The way that it is made gives it the appearance that it is a separate top that sits over a skirt but it is a true dress and one piece. Each sleeves is cut to balloon out slightly above the fitted cuffs. They are cut on a curve in the traditional dressmakers technique and I love how each cuff has a little pleated detail to pick up the pleat work of the skirt. Three silk covered buttons sit on each cuff and each one of those is placed to sit perfectly in the center of a pleat. I love how this small touch shows you how no detail is too small in the world of Haute Couture. The bodice skims over you and falls slightly over the skirt at the waist. The skirt falls from under that and it is attached to its own inner silk bodice. The skirt is fantastic. Each individual pleat is perfectly matched to its neighbor with meticulous precision. When you stand still the dress falls more in a column and then when you move you get incredible movement and fullness because of the pleats. Depending I hate this will be full length or fall to the ankle. It is a brilliantly cut dress. Every stitch has been done by hand and it is a lesson in precision. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition.

Fully lined in a matching red silk and closes with an inner handset back painted metal zipper and then closes with a second zipper on the outer bodice layer over that. The cuffs snap into place under three silk covered decorative buttons. The Haute Couture label is present with couture tape under the tag numbered 157888. Hand finished to couture standards throughout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all.

Sleeves: 27"
Shoulders: no true defined seams
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips at inner lining: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 55.5" from shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD2913

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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.