House of Balmain
After studying architecture for a year, Pierre Balmain changed his focus to fashion. He began as a sketch artist for the house of Robert Piquet and then went on to work as an assistant designer at the House of Molyneux from 1934-1938. His next position was with the designer Lucien Lelong, working there in 1939, and then from 1941-1945. While at Lelong, Balmain designed alongside his contemporary Christian Dior. Stated appropriately by the fashion historian Farid Chenoune, Balmain was one of “the supreme practitioners of the New Look generation,” along with designers Dior and Jacques Fath. Maison Balmain opened in 1945, and in addition to promoting the New Look silhouette, Balmain is credited with popularizing the stole as an accessory. His work is characterized by its simple elegance and impeccable detail. The dress featured here is an exquisite example of the designer’s best work.