summer cocktail dress

Pierre Balmain, Paris, 1914 - 1982

summer cocktail dress

Pierre Balmain, Paris 1914 - 1982


Pink silk cocktail day ensemble, the silk printed with scattered large white spots. Very fine, sheer silk, almost like lutestring, wearing in places especially under the arms. Short sleeved summer dress with full 'New Look' skirt gathered with feature panels of smocking either side cf waist; fastening cf to below waist with 7 round pink plastic buttons; back belt attached to sides and with cb bow; integral attached inner white petticoat for fullness. Dress labelled at left side front: 'Pierre Balmain, Paris' and numbered in ink on tape '67931' and with the model name 'Andree'. See L'Officiel Jan 1954 for a similar Balmain dress. Worn by Mrs Barbara O'Connell who was born in the mid 1920s. and purchased by her husband, Roy, from Balmain's house in Paris in about 1954. Although she wore it herself, it was imported, with others, to England to be used as a pattern for Bestway paper patterns. Mr O'Connell was the chief editor of the Amalgamated Press, and a francophile who wanted French couture to be more widely copied in England. He acquired model garments direct from the couture shows twice a year. At about the same time, he bought outfits from Dior and Hartnell in London (see 2008.50) Mrs O'Connell recalled meeting Balmain ('charming'), and Hartnell in the early 1950s at their Couture Houses, and also Dior in the south of France. See also Hartnell 2008.50 and Balmain 2008.49

Object Name

summer cocktail dress

Creators Name

Pierre Balmain, Paris

Date Created



L: 127cm
waist: 58cm

accession number


Collection Group


Place of creation




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