1949 Documented Pierre Balmain Haute Couture Grey Bar Jacket Suit

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Fine and rare Pierre Balmain haute couture grey bar jacket and skirt suit attributed to the autumn / winter 1949 collection. The jacket is tailored in a beautiful pinstripe wool with five iridescent buttons running down the middle front of the jacket, with matching buttons at each cuff. One pocket can be found on each side of the front of the suit jacket. The matching skirt has four darts on the front and the back with a zipper closure on the middle back. Skirt hems were longer in this decade and always below the knee to mid-calf depending on the wearer's height. The entire suit set in lined in perhaps what would have been a darker grey satin finish fabric which has gently faded to lilac-grey with the passing of time. The suit is in what we consider to be archival vintage condition with excellent levels of preservation. There is no visible damage or stains.

Founded in post-war Paris, Pierre Balmain’s eponymous house was central to revolutionizing French style. Balmain’s debut show in October 1945 preceded Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ by two years and welcomed curve-enhancing silhouettes into the mix, such as bell-shaped skirts nipped in at the waist. A near identical suit in navy is held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and we attach a 1949 advertisement for a similar design which retailed in a New England department store. Our final photo is a model wearing the same design on a promotional trip to London for the Fall 1949 collection - Balmain himself is just off the shot to the left of the group.

Waist - 27in. (68.5 cm)
Hip - 43 in. (109 cm)
Length - 31 in. (78.8cm)

Bust - 36 in. (91.5 cm)
Waist - 31 in. (78.8 cm)
Hip - 38 in. (96.5 cm)
Length - 26.5in. (67 cm)
Shoulders - 17in. (43.5 cm)