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suit 2008.8

Object Name: suit

Artist/Maker: Balenciaga, Cristobal
Role in production: maker
Place of Creation: Europe, France, Île-de-France, Paris
Date: 1948-1949

Accession Number: 2008.8
Location on Display: Gallery of Costume - GF - A Century of Fashion
Image Copyright: © Manchester City Galleries
Credit: Manchester City Galleries

Physical Description

Medium / Material
  • silk

2 piece tailored suit in black silk spotted all over with tiny woven silver squares: SB waisted jacket with peplum incorporating 4 pointed tabs at back, rounded collar and revers, and fastening with 5 facetted black glass buttons; lined black silk and with woven label: Balenciaga, 10 Avenue George V, Paris'. Matching skirt in 2 panels with integral trained box-pleat panel and cb zip.
For his AW 1948 collection, Balenciaga launched a 'loose back panel' - see English Vogue Oct 1948 Paris fashions article, pp.44-5.
For his 1949 collections, Balenciaga continued to feature box pleats at the back of his skirts, and loose flying panels were a feature of many skirts in this year (see Vogue Export Spring 1949 pp.8&65). Womenswear Daily 4 Feb 49 wrote: 'Balenciaga Varies Back Panel Skirt: There are quantities of beautifully tailored suits with the loose back skirt panel.'
French Vogue has 3 similar Balenciaga suits in 1949:
March: a jacket with back tabs
April: a skirt with the central box pleat attached only at the waist
May: a sketch also showing the back skirt pleat
Reputedly bought and worn by an heiress in Detroit, Michigan.


Type: L (jacket)
Height: 61 cm