Sketch of Balenciaga “Infanta” evening dress; from Vogue Magazine (September 15, 1939)

Sketch of Balenciaga “Infanta” evening dress;
Vogue Magazine (September 15, 1939)

 France was just wrapping up a summer of glamor in Paris, more than it had seen in almost a decade.
French Magazine Marianne reported in August,
“this winter’s very extravagant fashion calls for a certain dignity and an enormous amount of style.”
Those gowns are both beautiful, and extravagant. Corsets, bustles, full crinoline skirts, puffy sleeves, or bare shoulders are common in the designs of these dresses. On example, pictured in a painting below is a beautiful and full ball gown. It is made of a pink satin, with black embellishments. This gown has both a scooped back and a large bustle.
In December a very different sentiment was expressed by Marianne, owing to the changes from pre-war fashions, just months before. “Born in peacetime, created for carefree days, our gowns have retired for a deep and unexpected sleep.”


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