Cristóbal Balenciaga was one of the most innovative and influential fashion designers of the 20th century. His exquisite craftsmanship and pioneering use of fabrics revolutionised the female silhouette, setting the scene for modern design. Revered by his contemporaries, including Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, Balenciaga was referred to as ‘The Master’. His garments are characterised by their sculptural quality, deft manipulation of textiles and dramatic use of colour and texture.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion explores the work and legacy of this renowned couturier, showcasing more than 100 garments and hats crafted by Balenciaga from the 1950s and 1960s – arguably the most creative period of his career – through to the work of his protégés and contemporary designers who continue to work in the same innovative way today.
Alongside iconic garments are archive sketches, patterns, photographs, fabric samples and catwalk footage, providing a unique insight into Balenciaga’s salons and workrooms. The results of new, forensic investigations into the garments – including a collaboration with X-ray artist Nick Veasey and a digital pattern making project with the London College of Fashion – reveal the hidden details and processes which made Balenciaga’s work so exceptional.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion until November 10 2019 at Bendigo Art Gallery 42 View Street, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia.
Photography street photo homepage by © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Photography woman with hat by David Sims for Vogue © David Sims
Photography dress by Nick Veasey, 2016 © Nick Veasey