satin pearls

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Evening Dress

Pierre Balmain

1956

This evening dress, designed by Pierre Balmain in 1956, has a pink satin bow that provides an elegant final touch to a glamorous evening dress. The bow is placed in the small of the back where satin sash and draped skirt meet in a series of asymmetrical, diagonal gathers. The pearl white satin fabric of the dress is shot through with silver metallic threads and woven with a pattern of small thistles and painstakingly hand painted in pastel shades, while the bodice is embellished with leaves appliquéd with minute stitches. The dress was worn by the Austrian film star Lilli Palmer in the 1956 film Teufel im Seide (Devil in Silk).

Victoria & Albert Museum