‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ is the V&A Museum in London’s latest exhibition which explores and celebrates Christobal Balenciaga and his pioneering designs, exquisite craftsmanship, and the influential fashion legacy that he created.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion opens at London's V&A today, with the exhibition showcasing over 100 pieces of the Spanish designer's work from the later stages of his career, as well as the works of designers that he has influenced.
Cristobal Balenciaga founded the Balenciaga fashion house in 1919, and went on to become one of the most important and influential designers of the past century.
He had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as "the master of us all" by Christian Dior and as "the only couturier in the truest sense of the word" by Coco Chanel, who continued "The others are simply fashion designers".
He has famous clients that included Mona von Bismarck, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy, and notable students such as Hubert de Givenchy.
The exhibition at the V&A is split into two sections – one that looks back on the later part of his career, and the second examining his effect on other contemporary designers such as Molly Goddard and Rei Kawakubo.
The retrospective focuses on Balenciaga's work during the 1950’s and 60’s – a period in fashion history that was still much dominated by Christian Dior's New Look, which favoured hourglass silhouettes.
Throughout the second section of the exhibition, parallels are drawn between the designer's work and other modern practitioners – from Comme Des Garçons exaggeration of the body to Celine's penchant for minimalism.
Balenciaga’s uncompromising standards include his impeccable and intricate garment construction – something the V&A has highlighted through a series of X-rays.
These X-rays, created by artist Nick Veasey, show hidden construction details that would be otherwise invisible and are displayed next to the corresponding garments.
The exhibition runs until February 2018, and for more information on the exhibition please head over to the official website here.