evening dress

 
Designer
Creation date
Materials
linen, printed
Mark Descriptions
Bill Blass
Dimensions
L: 57 in.
Credit line
Gift of Betty Furness
Accession number
1985.161
Collection
Not Currently On View

This summer dress, which was worn by the American actress Betty Furness, is remembered as the dress of that year. A best seller, the dress was featured in a Harper’s Bazaar advertisement for Maurice Rentner and made available at Henri Bendel, L.S. Ayres in Indianapolis, and Dayton’s department store in Minneapolis.

Although its silhouette is simple, this dress features a molded bodice and a complex contour waistline—a design element perfected by the couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga in the late 1950s. The dress exemplifies Blass’s commitment to working with only the finest European fabrics. The multicolored printed linen used in this garment came from D. Porthault, a French textile firm specializing in luxury linens that opened its first boutique in New York in 1960.

Betty Furness (1916–1994), New York; through (Stan Weaver, New York); given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art (1985).
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