1950s Clothing

Pierre Balmain 1950s cocktail dress black | S

Current Stock:

Size: S
Bust: measures 35” flat to fit approx. 34”
Waist: measures 28.5” flat, to fit approx. 27-27.5”
Hip: full
Length: 48.5”from shoulder to hem in front
Back of neck to waist: 15.5”
Underarm to waist length: 8”
Sleeve length: 21”
Shoulder to shoulder: approx. 14” (no shoulder seams/dolman sleeves)
Label: Pierre Balmain New York Paris, also Saks Fifth Avenue store label

This early 1950s Pierre Balmain dress was produced for the designer’s New York boutique line, which sold lovely, ready-to-wear dresses like this one, based on Balmain’s couture collections. Balmain first opened his boutique in New York in 1949, and we believe that this dress dates from very early in its existence, circa 1950-1952. A mix of black rayon crepe and black rayon faille, this elegant cocktail dress has a deep, U-shaped neckline. Gathered panels that drape over the bust attach at the sides of the neckline, then wrap around and angle down at the sides, to end attached at each side of the back metal zipper, just above the natural waist. Two panels of faille form the center front of the bodice from neck to waist seam, and a yoke over the front of the hips (that extends around to the back of the waist and hips, also). The curved cutout at the front of the faille hip yoke/panel echoes the curved shape of the neckline—a great detail! Further mirroring the bodice design, the rayon crepe of the skirt is gathered on each side of the curved hip yoke cutout. This creates more fullness to the front of the skirt than in the back, although the back of the skirt is slightly flared from hips to hem. The bracelet-length, dolman sleeves taper to the hem and have large shoulder pads. The dress is unlined. Please note: the wavy lines visible in a few of the photos of the faille fabric at the center front of the bodice are from our camera attempting to capture its texture--it does not have any flaws! In excellent condition, this Pierre Balmain 1950s cocktail dress is beautifully made and very wearable. A great find for anyone who appreciates the fine quality of clothing from high-end, mid-century designers!

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