Spring 1961 Balmain Haute Couture Lesage Ivory Beaded Dress w Detachable Cape
This wonderful gown with its exquisitely beaded bodice and attached cape is a numbered Haute Couture piece designed by Pierre Balmain. Both pieces would have been made entirely by hand at the Paris atelier and the bead work done by Lesage. We found a similar gown from that same Couture collection that was featured in Harper's Bazaar that year It is an extraordinary example of the work being done during this time period of the label's history and is very beautiful.
The impact that this gown has cannot be denied. You instantly get the feel of Ancient Greece and yet is has a touch of modernity to it as well. It dress is made out of a very fine ivory silk chiffon. The neckline is high and the skirt flows to the floor with two layers of of silk chiffon over an interior silk skirt. The bodice is covered with hand placed glass tube beads that is most likely the workmanship of the famed Lesage ateliers. Eash bead has been carefully placed by hand and then they are mixed with a real metal gold thread that has been used to outline the design created with the beads. More of that same metallic thread is used to create a gold and ivory braiding that runs down the front and back and highlight the neckline. The cape detail on this one is unusual and really what makes it extra special. This cape is made of that same high end ivory silk chiffon. It ties at the front neck but it also is secured to the shoulders so that it stays perfectly in place no matter how you move, stand or sit. It is attached by tiny snaps, hidden under the inside collar of the neckline. There are endless couture level details put into this one and the workmanship throughout is perfectly and meticulously done. It is an amazing example of the fine workmanship and attention to detail of Haute Couture. and it is a true piece of fashion history. Excellent condition with one small note to review below
The dress is fully lined in an ivory through the bodice and innermost skirt. The skirt has two layers of silk over the inner lining. There may be the occasional loose or missing bead or thread. Both pieces have their numbered tag present under the main label and both bear the same number of 764027. Hand finished. It closes with a hand set, back painted metal zipper. I see one tiny yellowed spot on one tie and a pinpoint of a spot on the cape. There are two teeny smudges on the lower portion of the skirt. None of these detract - I am just being super picky. There is a slight darkening to the silk around the waist under the seam. I have photoed it all the way around and you can see that after the photos of the Couture label.
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photo: Gleb Derujinsky in Pierre Balmain, Harper's Bazaar, April 1961.
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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