This understated ensemble reveals the supreme talents of Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972). The cut is impeccable, and is matched by the finishing. The refinement manifested in Balenciaga's clothes pervaded his entire establishment. In 1972 José Maria Arielza described it thus: 'this fashion house had a curious monastic seal, in which there was no room for loud and outspoken people, nor for laughter and disorder. Everthing was done in an atmosphere of silence and efficiency: fashion shows, work rehearsals. Even among his models there was a sign of restraint, no airs or graces. To see his show was to be present at a pure aesthetic spectacle, reverent and organised' (El Diario Vasco, August 1972).
This stylish outfit was worn by Mrs Opal Holt. Mrs Holt's extensive wardrobe of fashionable dress donated to the Museum ranges from the 1930s to the 1970s. The more than 100 objects - day and evening wear together with accessories - represent her acquired taste. Mrs Holt bought her clothes in London, Paris and New York, and the collection features works by many famous designers, including Dior and Givenchy.