Balenciaga L’Essence Eau de Parfum for Women
- 1 fl. oz.
- Fragrance notes: patchouli, violet, green notes, sandalwood, cedar, and vetiver
- Bottle design: ombre turquoise body topped with a black-and-silver orb lid
In a 1956 episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy Ricardo tickled American audiences as she traipsed around Paris in what she thought was a designer frock, but was actually a burlap sack gag-gifted to her from Ricky. Behind the scenes, the joke wore a clever second layer: the sack was meant to be a parody of Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga’s revolutionary chemise dress, a boxy design that freed women from the cinched waists of Christian Dior’s then-ubiquitous New Look.
Despite being the butt of a televised joke, the sack dress eventually helped cement Balenciaga as one of the most innovative fashion designers of all time. Even would-be rivals such as Dior and Coco Chanel were fans, following his lead as closely as his many dedicated clients. Dior once quipped, “Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is Balenciaga. We other couturiers are the musicians and we follow the directions he gives.” Throughout his decades-long career, Balenciaga invented fashion-forward silhouettes that shaped many styles still popular today, including tunics, baby-doll dresses, balloon hems, and knee-high boots, among others.
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