Balenciaga exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Master Balenciaga: “Shaping Fashion” exhibition in London

February 13th, 2017 / by / in: Exquisite experiences / No responses

More than 100 garments and 20 hats, sketches, patterns, photographs, fabric samples and catwalk footage, ensembles made by Balenciaga for Ava Gardner, dresses and hats belonging to socialite and 1960s fashion icon Gloria Guinness, and pieces worn by one of the world’s wealthiest women, Mona von Bismarck will be on display at Victoria & Albert Museum from 27th of May 2017, in Balenciaga: ‘Shaping Fashion’. The exhibition marks the centenary of the opening of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris.

(Photo up: Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Café des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955) 

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be between 27 May 2017 – 18 February 2018, vam.ac.uk/balenciaga | #balenciaga

Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper's Bazaar, June 1967 © Hiro 1967

Alberta Tiburzi in ‘envelope’ dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper’s Bazaar, June 1967 © Hiro 1967

The main features of the exhibition

  • Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will focus in detail on the latter part of Balenciaga’s long career in the 1950s and 1960s, one of his most creative periods as ‘the master’ of haute couture.
Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, Paris, 1968

Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, Paris, 1968

  • X- rays, animated patterns and short films on couture-making processes will uncover the hidden details that made Balenciaga work so exceptional.
  • For the first time the V&A has used x-ray technology to take a forensic look at the hidden details inside Cristóbal Balenciaga’s garments. These show structures invisible to the naked eye, including dress weights strategically placed to determine the exact hang of the skirt in one of Balenciaga’s most minimal designs, and boning in dress bodices.
X-ray photograph of evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955

X-ray photograph of evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955

  • Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be organised around three main sections: ‘Front of House’, including Balenciaga’s salons, behind the scenes in Balenciaga’s ‘Workrooms’ and the lasting impact of ‘Balenciaga’s Legacy’.
Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing coat by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1950

Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing coat by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1950

  • “Haute Couture is like an orchestra whose conductor is Balenciaga. We other couturiers are the musicians and we follow the direction he gives”, said Christian Dior.

Photography: Victoria&Albert Museum, www.vam.ac.uk 

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be between 27 May 2017 – 18 February 2018, vam.ac.uk/balenciaga | #balenciaga

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