Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
From 27th May 2017 - 18th February 2018
The Victoria and Albert Museum
In the brand new exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, discover how Cristóbal Balenciaga's exquisite craftsmanship and innovative designs shaped modern fashion.
This exhibition examines the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be the first ever UK exhibition exploring the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga and his profound and continuing influence on modern fashion. It will be the first of its kind to look at his unique approach to making and will showcase pieces by his protégés and contemporary designers working in the same innovative way today. The exhibition marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris.
Rather than a retrospective, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will focus in detail on the latter part of Balenciaga’s long career in the 1950s and 1960s, arguably one of his most creative periods as ‘the master’ of haute couture. It was during these years that he not only dressed some of the most iconic women of the time, but also introduced revolutionary shapes including the tunic, the sack, ‘baby doll’ and shift dress – all of which remain style staples today.
Highlights will include ensembles made by Balenciaga for Hollywood actress 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, who commissioned everything from ballgowns to gardening shorts from the couturier.
On display will be over 100 garments and 20 hats, many of which have never been on public display before. These will be accompanied by archive sketches, patterns, photographs, fabric samples and catwalk footage revealing Balenciaga’s uncompromising creativity. In addition x-rays, animated patterns and short films on couture-making processes will uncover the hidden details that made his work so exceptional.
At the V&A from 27th May 2017 to 18th February 2018, book Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion tickets today!