Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pierre Balmain Bodice -- Phylidee

While at my Tambour Beading Masterclass with Bob Haven, he brought out this antique treasure he has stored in his studio...


And he allowed me to photograph it and share it with the world for us to study. Thank you Bob.


This bodice was made by Parisian designer Pierre Balmain most likely in the 1950s. Pierre Balmain was known for his exquisite detailing and dressed such starlets as Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Brigitte Bardo and Kathryn Hepburn.


Last year, Penelope Cruz wore a vintage Balmain gown to the Academy Awards when she became the first Spanish actress to ever win an Oscar.


You can read last year's post here and see some old bacstage photos of a Pierre Balmain fashion show.

Notice the mix of sewn metal thread and couched metal threads.


The flat ribbon like thread is actual crimped and couched into place. If you're interested, it can still be acquired through Tinsel Trading in New York.

Because it's real metal thread, it does tarnish over time.


But that just adds to its beauty.


Enjoy!

20 comments:

coral-seas said...

Oh wow, isn't that stunning. Thank you for sharing it with us. Can you tell what they used to pad the tappered veins of the feathers (leaves?).

Carol said...

Unbelievable! I thought the metal thread was ribbon. Boy, brings back memories of how beautiful gowns from the 40s, 50s and 60s were.

Vicki W said...

AMAZING!!!

Plays with Needles said...

CA -- I believe the veins were a silk-wrapped cotton tapered core...whatever was underneath...I know it was wrapped in silk first before wrapping the gold.

JoWynn Johns said...

Thanks for the details. I so appreciate your close-up photography, everywhere.

MosaicMagpie said...

What an incrediable amount of time must have gone into this. I loved seeing the photos. The label in the dress as well 100% silk. Lovely
Debbie

Elmsley Rose said...

oh, *dribble*

I'd love to try to reproduce this one day.

Thankyou for the wonderful photos!

Catherine said...

I can only hope that I tarnish as beautifully as this piece!

Front Range Stitcher said...

Beauty abounds throughout the ages! This was a real treat getting to see everything upclose. Thank you for sharing this gem with us. I wish you were at the Oscars with your camera taking photos of Ms. Cruz's lovely "frock".The work looked exquisite.

Ati. said...

As I always have been interested in antique clothes: Thank you for the nice close-up photos!

Warwick family said...

Thanks for this series on tambour, it's very interesting. I have been researching this technique a bit recently because I live in Turkey and it is very popular here even today. Turns out it is a technique that is understood to have originated in the Kashmir region. It traveled along the Silk Road through Central Asia to Turkey and from there jumped to France. It has largely died out in France but is still strong in central Asia (especially Uzbekistan, Armenia etc) and Turkey. Also in Kashmir. You can find lots of beautiful pieces from Central Asia made with this technique. Thanks again, I find information on historical needlework techniques very interesting. Inspirations magazine had a long article on it a couple of years ago. Regards, Mara (in Ankara)

Diane said...

Just lovely, makes my fingers itch to do some fancy work!

Judy S. said...

What a fun post, Susan. I loved seeing all the details and am wondering how those big rhinestones or crystals, or whatever they are, are attached. Dress #483...that must mean there are others? How about an overall photo?

Muriel said...

Funny!! I have also made a Luneville embroidery class this month!!Our teacher learned the technique from Lesage too and has also made an incredible piece . Perhaps she knows Bob :-)!
As always, you have made beautiful photos, thanks.

Ingrid Mida said...

What a stunning piece of workmanship. Thank you for sharing this exquisite piece.

Allison Ann Aller said...

Exquisite and beautiful to see....your photography brings it right to us. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

Elizabeth said...

Exquisite work and detail!! I can't imagine working with the metal thread- there must be a method to it to keep one from madness!!!!!

Barbara C said...

How beautiful! Thanks for sharing this lovely piece of artwork.

Balwearie said...

This is absolutely dreamy! I love the patina almost as much as the exquisite handwork!

Sarsaparilla said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

I loved Catherine's comment: "I can only hope that I tarnish as beautifully as this piece" Me too!

S

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