BALENCIAGA

1959 : Acclaimed sculptor and Balenciaga window dresser Janine Janet creates carved-wood-and-nail figures-"The King, The Queen, and The Valet"-for windows at the George V salon. April: Balenciaga's "shield-shaped cape-bolero" of "men's-weight tussore" is "buttoned at waist and shoulders over a slim, sleeveless, round-necked dress," British Pandora Luxurye reports. American expatriate actress Ava Gardner, a frequent patron of the Eisa outposts, purchases this number. August: Citing approximate annual sales of $1,500,000, WWD names the house of Balenciaga the top earning couture establishment in Paris.

1958 : Spring: Baby doll silhouette introduced. Fall: Evening gowns sport a curving "peacock" tail shape. Balenciaga works with Swiss textile firm Abraham to create gazar, a fabric with unique sculptural qualities. He will mold this material into his most theatrical evening creations. Receives France's prestigious L茅gion d'Honneur. Parfums Balenciaga, a limited liability company, established as a subsidiary of Balenciaga S.A. Balenciaga's jeweled dandelion pin sparks a trend for glittery flower brooches.

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