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Balenciaga in New York

Dec 20, 2010
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Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972) There’s a wonderful exhibit in New York at the moment: a beautiful overview of the work of the great Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga. It’s at the Queen Sophia Spanish Institute until the 19th of February, at which point it moves (slightly augmented) to the de Young Museum in San Francisco (it will be there from March 26 though July 4, 2011). Curated by Vogue Magazine’s European Editor-at-Large, Hamish Bowles, the exhibit showcases more than 70 items by Balenciaga. I’ve often asked people in the fashion world, people whose opinions I respect, to name their favorite designer. The response is, more often than not, Balenciaga. ndeed, the New York Times, in 1967, wrote “No one in the French couture can match him.” While Balenciaga opened his couture house in Paris in 1937, it was Spain, as Hamish Bowles put it, “that cast the longest shadow.” To Diana Vreeland, Balenciaga’s “inspiration came from the bullrings, the flamenco dancers, the loose blouses the fishermen wear, the cool of the cloisters.” And to quote Coco Chanel: “He is the only couturier who knows how to cut in fabric, and mount it, and sew it with his own hands. The others are just draughtsmen.” Indeed. See for…

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  1. alb4ever February 21st

    The pinky-red dress on the left looks beautiful!!!

  2. User avater couturelady February 4th

    I thank you for showing these garments. I loved the Spanish feel that was put into the designs of each garments. Thanks for sharing.

  3. suzannity January 12th

    Thank you, for the recommendations!

  4. trish_at_dollymall December 28th

    Balenciaga has always been a huge inspiration in my life. I hope to make it to the San Francisco exhibition. I see that the show will be "augmented" there.

  5. SusanKhalje December 28th

    Suzannity wanted to know about Balenciaga books - happily, there are many of them, including these:

    Balenciaga and Spain will appear in the spring - it's by Hamish Bowles, who curated the New York exhibit.

    Baleniaga and His Legacy, by Myra Walker, accompanied a Dallas Balenciaga exhibit a few years back.

    And Balenciaga Paris, by Pamela Golbin, was the book published in conjunction with the large exhibit a couple of years back at the Musee des Arts Decoratif in Paris.
    So, plenty to read!!!

  6. trish_at_dollymall December 28th

    Balenciaga has always been a huge inspiration in my life. I hope to make it to the San Francisco exhibition. I see that the show will be "augmented" there.

  7. suzannity December 23rd

    Could you, please, recommend a good book to read more about his work and life?

  8. LuvThreadsMagazine December 22nd

    What a show!

    Can NOT imagine you two pal'n around - what kind of scandalous comments were exchanged??

  9. Ryliss December 22nd

    Thank you for the wonderful photos of the exhibit for those of us readers not able to attend. I hope to see future exhibits with your contributing editors Kenneth D. King and Susan Khalje attending. I would also like to see a follow-up technique detailed by Kenneth of one of Balenciga garments.

  10. woodruff December 21st

    He also often used that so flattering front waistline. It creates such a graceful line.

  11. sgbarnes December 21st

    I am tempted to go to the show but I live in Dallas. I did a report on him for a History of Costume class. I have been fascinated ever since. If I remember correctly, no one has figured out his formula for creating a sleeve. This is a wonderful article about a wonderful and inspiring designer.

  12. sgbarnes December 21st

    I am tempted to go to the show but I live in Dallas. I did a report on him for a History of Costume class. I have been fascinated ever since. If I remember correctly, no one has figured out his formula for creating a sleeve. This is a wonderful article about a wonderful and inspiring designer.

  13. User avater kkegeland December 21st

    can't wait to see this in San Francisco!!

  14. User avater Jacquelyn December 21st

    I love his work its so effortless yet so complicated. I always wonder how to make the "chou" wrap from the Cocoon outfit.

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