This lilac suits illustrates Christóbal Balenciaga’s minimalism, or the art of omission. The straight open jacket consists of two front sections and a back that furthermore makeup the sleeves. This lends the rounded shoulder for which Balenciaga was aiming and the straight back. The only ornamentation is the small, turndown collar that makes the wearer appear taller. The simple skirt is made of a single length of fabric worked as a parallelogram and thus has simply one seam running diagonal on the back, and the zipper has been inserted into this. The both sides of the skirt front have diagonal slit pockets with apertures . The skirt, like the jacket, is fully lined in silk. The owner also wore a sleeveless black slip-on blouse that could be simply pulled over the head by virtue of the slightly open centre seam in front.


  • Title: Lilac Suit
  • Creator: Cristóbal Balenciaga
  • Date: 1966
  • Rights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Stephan Klonk │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christine Waidenschlager
  • Provenance: 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1985 Christie’s, London, estate of Madame Fern Bedaux, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Proof of manufacture: Woven black on cream label in back of jacket and blouse: BALENCIAGA 10, Avenue George V. Paris
  • Place of origin: Paris, France
  • Length: Jacket: fl./bl. 54 cm, skirt: fl./bl. 61 cm, blouse: fl./bl. 59 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Suit
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Purple wool, fancy yarns, plain weave with crepe-like structured surface, black satin weave regenerated cellulose Lining: plain weave violet silk, crepe de Chine

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