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Fabulous Fashion PMA(96) | by rverc
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Fabulous Fashion PMA(96)



Yves Saint Laurent French ( born Algeria) 1936-2008


Cocktail Dress , Fall/Winter 1959-60

Designed for Christian Dior , Paris, founded 1946


Silk taffeta


Yves Saint Laurent showed this dress in July 1959 as part of his bombshell collection dubbed the “new, new look” (in comparison to the famous New Look that Christian Dior debuted in 1947). He made skirts a focal point—and the shortest in Paris (to the knee or just above). This one is made of four bands of doubled ruffles with fringed edges. The torso is swathed diagonally in taffeta that is tacked to the underdress over a layer of organza, giving the dress what Vogue magazine praised as a “light, supple young look.” Perhaps not surprising, since Saint Laurent—already the house of Dior’s designer for two years—was just twenty-three years old.


Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1997-52-1a


From the Placard: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA




Cristóbal Balenciaga Spanish (active Spain and France), 1895-1972


Cocktail Dress , Winter 1958


Silk machine-made lace over silk chiffon backed by silk plain weave, rayon satin ribbon


Cristóbal Balenciaga’s “baby-doll” dresses of 1957 and 1958 illustrate his experiments with abstraction and exaggeration of form. A see-through lace dress swings from the shoulders, revealing a slim sheath beneath. The loose overdress, slightly shorter in front, is held away from the body by deep, layered ruffles around the bottom. To ensure the ruffles spring outward, they are tightly gathered and supported underneath by stiff gathered net and openwork bands of nylon horsehair.


Gift of Mrs. T. Charlton Henry, 1975-100-2


From the Placard: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA


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Taken on November 2, 2018