CB Top Coat
CB Top Coat
Balenciaga was known for his sculptural skills while draping a design since he molds fitting tools, such as darts, directly into the design lines of the garment and this coat is an example of that technique. The front of the coat appears to be a simple rectangle but the dart fullness has been eased into the dropped yoke sleeve seam which is cut-in-one with the back. The back is fuller with a deep pli de souplesse (fold at the armscye) which allows it to be easily worn over other garments. The coat has two main pattern pieces and does not require a lining or closures. Sizing is 'medium' but the size range is from 8 to 16. The Egg hat is not included. The coat can be laid out as shown in the pattern diagram included, without nap, on 4 yards of 45" fabric folded crosswise to 2 yards. You may be able to do it for less on 58" or 60" depending on your own adjustments for length.
Early in his career, Balenciaga worked with Madeleine Vionnet to learn many of her draping techniques in crepe fabrics and then went on to practice them in the more firm and moldable fabrics popular in his day. He learned how to make a design, like this coat, appear simple, when, in fact, it was quite complex. This coat is reminiscent of Vionnet, reminding us of her unusual seaming and shaping. After Balenciaga closed his house, Salvador, his tailoring assistant, taught his methods and this pattern was an example from those classes.