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Below-the-knee trapezoid dress

Cristóbal Balenciaga for Balenciaga1957

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa

Below-the-knee trapezoid dress. Jewel neckline, sleeveless, with button-down closure from top to bottom. It has a yoke, darts from hip to bustline, and from the hip to the centre of the armhole. The large buttons are covered with cotton piping.

This model, known as the “sack dress”, shows the original line on which Balenciaga worked during the 1950s. Loose, comfortable dresses contrasted with the fitted silhouette more common at the time. The “barrel” line, so defined by the master, appeared in 1947. From that time on, Balenciaga experimented with the loose-fitting backs of his garments, creating the tunic dress in 1955 and the sack dress in 1957. He reinterpreted the female shape and eliminated the waist, creating silhouettes that were completely new in the history of fashion.

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  • Title: Below-the-knee trapezoid dress
  • Creator: Cristóbal Balenciaga
  • Creator Birth Date: 1895
  • Creator Death Date: 1972
  • Fashion House: Balenciaga
  • Date Created: 1957
  • Location Created: San Sebastián, Spain
  • Type: Dress
  • Photographer: Manuel Outumuro
  • Original Source: CBM 2000.194
  • Rights: Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa
  • Medium: Black wool crepe


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