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24-02-2007
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1914-1982 Pierre Balmain
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BIOGRAPHY
Fashion Designer PIERRE BALMAIN, date of creation: 1945 Pierre Balmain was born in St Jean de Maurienne, Savoie in 1914. He owed his early training to the two greatest designers of the time - Molyneux and Lucien Lelong - opening his own Haute Couture house immediately following the war, in the autumn of 1945, on the Rue Francois 1er in Paris. Clients quickly flocked to Balmain, and were thrilled to discover the new image he had created for women. The Balmain woman had shed the last vestiges of wartime hardship with abundant insouciance and charm, and heralded a return to opulence in richly embroidered gowns and ensembles.

American author Gertrude Stein, a close friend of Balmain's, saluted the advent of this "New French Style" in her writing. This image of an active, irrepressible, perfectly groomed, elegant woman with a touch of independence in her nature took root and was embodied in the "Jolie Madame", emblematic of the nineteen-fifties.

The 1960s were years of renewal for Pierre Balmain, who used fabrics scupturally for the creation of uncluttered designs accenting pure structure and contrasts of cut and style. This was also a richly productive period in the field of costuming for stage and screen. In addition, Balmain designed personal wardrobes for numerous international stars, including Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, and Katherine Hepburn - to name just a few. This period also marked Balmain's first meeting with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, who chose him to be her personal couturier.

The name Pierre Balmain stands for a unique concept of elegance, a clientele of royalty and film stars, and a fashion hallmark recognized throughout the world. The ready-to-wear division, founded in the 1970s, has gradually made an impact on the market and is now registering significantly satisfying results, with some 220 licenses worldwide.




With the disappearance of Pierre Balmain in 1982, the torch was passed to Erik Mortensen - his personal assistant since 1951 and his closest colaborator - who maintained the House's traditions while developing and updating styles and designs in the spirit of its founder. In recognition of this achievement, Mortensen won tne France Haute Couture Golden Thimble Awards for his Automn-Winter 1983/1984 collection. Erik Mortensen then went onto his second French Haute Couture Golden Thimble Award, presented at the Palais Galliera on 31 July 1987, for his Autumn-Winter 1987/1988 collection. When Erik Mortensen left the House of Balmain in July 1990, he was replaced by youthful Herve-Pierre, who served as designer from 1990 through 1993 for both the Haute Couture and ready-to-wear collections.

In january 1993, internationally renowned American designer Oscar de la Renta signed his first Haute Couture collection for Pierre Balmain and has now rejuvinated the line while respecting the colours, the fluidity and elegance of the "Jolie Madame" esprit.

Haute Couture Women's Ready-to-Wear Men's Fashion Perfumes (Ivoire, Jolie Madame, Miss Balmain, Vent Vert, Monsieur Balmain, Ebene) Accessories
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Photograph from wikipedia.org: Pierre Balmain and Ruth Ford, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1947


Last edited by Whitelinen; 28-05-2007 at 01:34 PM.
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24-02-2007
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Pierre Balmain metallic brocaded tulle/silk mini dress, c.1967. Label: "Pierre Balmain/Paris" with the couture number on the back.


Last edited by Whitelinen; 28-05-2007 at 01:34 PM.
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24-02-2007
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Apparently this is Pierre Balmain - I'm not 100% sure.

Green Satin Dinner Suit, 1950s
www.whitakerauction.com


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24-02-2007
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PIERRE BALMAIN numbered couture suit Pale blue and white diagonally woven wool is used in this Pierre Balmain numbered Couture suit. The notched collar, five button jacket is further enhanced by buttoned tabs over the two front pockets, on the cuffs, at the sleeves and over the vent in the back of the jacket. A wonderful design element which is repeated five times around the jacket. The jacket is lined in cream silk, hand finished throughout and the hem is weighted. The straight skirt has four darts in the front and double zippers set into the two back seams. The left seam has a kick pleat. The skirt is lined in cream silk and is hand finished throughout. The condition is excellent. There is one faint stain in the lining at the right underarm. It is in the lining only.

Measurements:
Jacket:
Bust 36”
Waist 28”
Center back to hem 22”
Sleeve 21 ½”
Shoulder to shoulder 15”

Skirt:
Waist 24”
Hips 34”
Waist to hem 28 ½”

Item: CD1-0429
Price: $2,200.00


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Last edited by Whitelinen; 28-05-2007 at 01:34 PM.
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24-02-2007
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OH fabulous thanks alot for this thread WhiteLinen!

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24-02-2007
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My pleasure

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1914-1982 Pierre Balmain

museudelperfum.com

Quote:
Pierre Balmain was born in 1914 in St-Jean-de-Maurienne. His family owned a wholesale drapery business. His mother Fracoise, worked at a boutique managed by her two sisters. Balmain's father died when he was only 7 years old and his happiest childhood memories were of playing in the shop where his mother and aunts made dresses. He played with the fabrics and set his heart on becoming a couturier. Balmain studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but did not complete his studies. He spent his spare time designing dresses and took some of them to show Robert Piguet, who bought three.

He went to Molyneux who promised to give him a trial and when he was accepted, he left his architectural studies. From 1934 to 1939, he worked for Molyneux.

In 1936 he was called up for compulsory military service. When he had completed this in 1939, he joined Lucien Lelong and worked there during the German occupation of Paris.

In 1945 he opened his own house, showing long bell-shaped skirts with small waists - a line which later became popular as Dior's New Look. In 1951 he opened branches in the USA selling ready-to-wear clothes. His success in the USA has been attributed to the fact that he was able to translate French fashion into clothes for the American woman's generally larger frame, without compromising style. Balmain designed many sportswear collections for this ready-to-wear market. His talent as a designer lay in his ability to make simple, tailored suits as well as grand evening gowns, in the same slender, supple and elegant lines.

During the 50's he popularized the stole for day as well as evening wear and created a vogue for sheath dresses beneath jackets. His coats were generously cut to give a full back and we sometimes half belted. In the same period, his cossack like wraps and capes were tend-setters. Balmain was noted as a designer for the international set.

In addition to his couture work, Pierre Balmain's designs were greatly in demand in Hollywood. Between 1951 and 1972, he designed costumes for 16 films, starring such stars as Vivien Leigh and Mae West. His elegance was also in demand for the off-screen clothes of Hollywood stars. He also designed for French films, including the famous film "God Created Woman" which introduced Brigitte Bardot to the world.

Several designers worked under Pierre Balmain, who have gone on to become famous in their own names, including Gerard Pipart from 1948, Jean-Baptiste Caumont briefly, John Cavanagh from 1947 to 1951 and Karl Lagerfeld from 1955 to 1958.

In 1964 Pierre Balmain wrote his autobiography, entitled "My Years and Seasons". He died in Paris in 1982.
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Pierre Balmain Floral Print Evening Gown
French, 1940s
Of ivory silk taffeta printed with pink and gray flowering dogwood branches, the fitted bodice with sweetheart neckline and halter neck strap sewn at left front bust with pink and gray chiffon streamers that are knotted at side waist and descend to floor, the skirt caught up sarong style at side front and gathered into fullness at curved seam descending diagonally from waist to mid hip, forming asymmetrical hip yoke, size 8, labeled: Pierre Balmain/Paris-New York.
Excellent condition.
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Quote:
Pierre Balmain metallic brocaded tulle/silk mini dress, c.1967. Label: "Pierre Balmain/Paris" with the couture number on the back.
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03-06-2007
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Thanks for the article, DosViolines, you seem to always have every piece of information on the couturiers!

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Quote:
Balmain Couture Black Empire Gown
French, circa 1968
The empire bodice of silk velvet richly embroidered with stylized rosette medallions of variform gold embossed paillettes, sequins and faux topaz, embroidered metallic gold cord trim at jewel neckline, long sleeve, wrist and along velvet hemline band of the sculptural A-line skirt of barathea, size 4, no label.
Excellent condition.
doylenewyork

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All images from http://www.museonacional.gov.co/balmain.html
(All text in spanish - babelfish translation )


Dress of Bustier dance drapeado
in tul with ample skirt in several
tones of coffee.
S/S 1946.
Designed by Pierre Balmain.
Photography of Canine Patricia


Versailles (Figurín # 113)
S/S 1953
original Drawing of Pierre Balmain


Wool tailor, adorned with neck and sleeve of skin.
1955.
Designed by Pierre Balmain.
Photography of Willy Maywald.



Shelter for rain.
Designed by Pierre Balmain 1963-64.
Photography of file Balmain House


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Continued..


Juke box (Figurín # 401)
Autumn of 1968
original Drawing of Pierre Balmain


Marlène Dietrich
dressed by Pierre Balmain for
'Him voyage fantastiqué,
film of Henry Koster, 1951


Figurín #311
Autumn of 1953
original Drawing of Pierre Balmain


Hat designed by Pierre Balmain,
S/S 1955.
Photography of file Balmain House

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Thanks for posting Hanne
I love the little hat!

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continued...


S/S 1957.
Photography of file Balmain House


Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers in
'The millionaires'.
Dress designed by Pierre Balmain.
Copyright © 1960, 20 th Century Fox


Collection Jolie Madame de France.
A/W 1958-59,
N° 330:
violet wool shelter with neck in scarf form advanced.
Photography of file Balmain House


Hat designed by Pierre Balmain.
Collection Jolie Madame de France,
A/W 1961-62.
Hat and boa in white and black pens of ostrich.
Photography of file Balmain House


Tailor fitted in satín white pespuntado in rafia black with wanderers embroidered by Lesage.
S/S 1992.
Designed by Hervé Pierre.
Black straw hat designed by Pierre Balmain.
Photography of Canine Patricia

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